‘THIS CLUB MEANS EVERYTHING TO ME,’ RODGERS’ RELATIVE SUCCESS

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BRENDAN RODGERS is back in the good books with his family after guiding Celtic to the title in his comeback year.

The Irishman admitted some of his relatives were so disappointed with his previous decision to quit the Hoops in February 2019 that they stopped talking to him!

Rodgers departed the champions in abrupt fashion for Leicester City after winning seven successive honours following his arrival as Ronny Deila’s successor in May 2016.

However, the gaffer returned in June last year to take over from Spurs-bound Ange Postecoglou – and peace has now broken out among the ranks following Celtic’s third championship success in a row and the 54th crown in their history.

CROWNING GLORY…Brendan Rodgers holds aloft Celtic’s third successive title – and his personal hat-trick of Premiership triumphs.

Strikes from Matt O’Riley, Kyogo Furuhashi and Luis Palma gave the hosts a 3-2 victory over stubborn St Mirren in Paradise yesterday as the curtain came down on the victorious league campaign.

As a 60,000 sell-out crowd celebrated the twelfth title in 13 years, a beaming Rodgers reflected: “I saw it when I was here the first time and when I left it absolutely deflated family and friends and it was never the same for them.

“I have to say, it’s my professional life so I have to chose at times where I go.

“But I know coming back here, what it means to so many people, in terms of family.

“And now they can enjoy these great moments, as well. Listen, Celtic very much is a family and I am just so happy I can help make the lives of Celtic supporters happy throughout the world.

“That’s eight out of nine trophies that I have had during my time here and I hope and pray that I will keep adding to that and have as much success as I possibly can.

“I just didn’t want how I left – and the reaction to that – to be the big full stop on my Celtic story.

PRIZE GUYS…Brendan Rodgers, captain Callum McGregor and the triumphant Celtic players celebrate the club’s twelfth title in 13 years.

“Because this club means everything to me. Growing up, supporting it, understanding the history of the club and what it means to so many people. I didn’t want that to be the story.

“So I was really determined to come back, one to have even more success this time around.”

Rodgers and Celtic have the opportunity to put the seal on the crusade when they take on Philippe Clement’s Ibrox outfit in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden on Saturday afternoon.

The Hoops chief has led Scotland’s title kings to three wins and a draw over Rangers this time around and his sights are set on triumph No.4 at the national stadium, a venue at which he has NEVER suffered defeat.

Looking ahead, Rodgers, speaking to Sky Sports, added: “Once we got those early months out of the way, we started to see us grow and develop.

JUST CHAMPION…Callum McGregor and Joe Hart are poised to hold aloft the Premiership silverware.

“Now I am really excited about the future that we can have here.┬áIf we finish this season and have a really strong pre-season, both in terms of preparation and getting quality players in, then, hopefully, we can elevate the game to a more consistent level.

“At times we have been really, really good this season, despite what people will say.

“Look at our performance the other night, look at Dundee, there’s been other games where we have been so good, but that gets lost.

“But we need to be more consistent next year and if we do that then we can have another great season.”

TEARS AND CHEERS IN PARADISE

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