This respect from Barca has been earned the hard way


I have to admit I thought some of the quotes to emerge on social media from the world’s greatest players about Celtic Park were perhaps apocryphal. That concern was laid to rest on Barcelona’s website today as the team boarded a flight from the rainy Catalan capital, Leonel Messi on-board, alas.

Their article, titled, “FC Barcelona players ‘just can’t get enough’ of Celtic Park”, reads like a fantasy piece typed on a green and white keyboard.

“Xavi Hernández once said: “I don’t think I have seen anything like the Celtic fans in all the stadiums I have played at. When you step out at Celtic Park, the atmosphere they create for their team is incredible. It doesn’t matter how many big games you have played in, walking out into that atmosphere is always intense.””

Messi added, “I’ve been fortunate to play in some great stadiums in Europe with Barcelona but none compare to Celtic” he said after the game in 2013. The Argentinian has also been quoted as admitting that “I have a Celtic jersey at home. The games against Celtic were special and I want to remember them.”

Playmaker Iniesta said, “They were amazing, not quiet for a single second! The Celtic fans are very special and the club and players can be very proud of them. They are the best I have ever heard.” While Pique wrote, “no words to describe the atmosphere at Celtic Park”.

The article concludes, “Whatever the outcome on Wednesday night, one thing is for sure. There’s going to be a show, and the Glasgow Celtic (and Barça) will be there.”

This kind of respect has been earned the hard way. The game which kicked it all off, Celtic’s 1-0 win in 2004, wasn’t a pleasant affair. Three men were red carded and Barcelona were bitter about the pitch, their treatment and the luck which fell their way, but when the sublime Ronaldinho was substituted with two minutes remaining the home support gave him a memorable reception.

We lost 1-3 to them the following year in a game which still rankles. After levelling we had them on the rack for a period, but two late moments of slackness allowed Barcelona to take the points.

When Barca returned in the Champions League knock-out rounds in 2008 we absolutely battered them for 45 minutes. Barry Robson had been a Dundee United player a few weeks earlier but scored peach of a header to give Celtic a 2-1 halftime lead. We’d peaked too soon and were caught out by our gung-ho approach.

The 2-1 win on our 125th birthday will live long in the memory. It was probably the most intense occasion Celtic Park had ever experienced. Arguably the greatest team to play the game applied suffocating pressure as they tried to overcome an 18th minute concession. I doubt any team has ever faced such a formidable foe who passed and prodded with such intensity.

Regrets also linger from our 0-1 defeat with 10 men three years ago when a rash moment from Scott Brown was exploited by the writhing Neymar. Charlie Mulgrew’s header from a corner kick came close to handing the 10 men a remarkable point.

We’re not in Barcelona’s league in any literal or metaphorical sense, but tomorrow’s another occasion to earn points the hard way.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8

  1. “We’re not in Barcelona’s league in any literal or metaphorical sense, but tomorrow’s another occasion to earn points the hard way.”




    yes we are



    we are in the same champions league group as them



    so that would count as a literal sense



    lazy, lazy

  2. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching Celtic v Barcelona. I just love the excitement that goes with the game.

  3. Kev J



    I feel that many supporters would have loved the response to ” The Shame Game ” which you suggest in your post at 11:18 ( I think!). In my experience , though, emotional responses to situations often have unexpected outcomes and many pitfalls.


    You can be sure the MSSM would have distorted your suggested response by Celtic out of all recognition.




  4. Messi’s statistics are incredible, but here’s one that has one of my favourite numbers in it.



    In the six years between 2007 and 2013, he made 67 Champions League appearances, scoring 57 goals, an awesome level of consistent brilliance in the upper echelons of the game, especially considering he’s not an out-and-out striker.



    That’s why I’d be wanting to see him on the hallowed turf if I were lucky enough to have a ticket for tomorrow night.

  5. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Davidopoulos on 22nd November 2016 12:35 pm



    How do you pronounce apocryphal?






    You pronounce it apocryphal. HTH!




  6. Davido



    I Googled and found this. I love the example used!!!!!








    1(of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true:


    ‘an apocryphal story about a former president’


    ‘his alleged description of opera as ‘fat gits singing’ is probably apocryphal’

  7. “Regrets also linger from our 0-1 defeat with 10 men three years ago when a rash moment from Scott Brown was exploited by the writhing Neymar.”



    Neymar is prone to diving and play-acting



    However, getting a knee to the back is actually quite sore. I’d be writhing.

  8. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    The Green Man says SACK THE Board on 22nd November 2016 12:03 pm






    TD67 fights with everybody, himself most of all.



    Me…im a nice, informative, jovial fellow who leads a double life:)








    There’s the admission! I’ve heard that you and TD67 have never been seen in the same room (or boozer) at the same time.



    So TGM and TD67 are in fact one and the same! You’ve been outed. :>)





  9. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Well it could be a long night if we pass the ball out from the back as badly as the other evening.


    Might not be the way Brendan wants to develop the team long-term, but I hope we go a bit more direct and use the pace of our attacking players.

  10. VFR800 IS NOW A MONSTER 821 on 22ND NOVEMBER 2016 12:55 PM


    The Green Man says SACK THE Board on 22nd November 2016 12:03 pm



    Me…im a nice, informative, jovial fellow who leads a double life:)




    Are you Earnest???????




  11. Brown moved towards Neymar but didn’t touch him. Neymar writhed for nothing. I had a very clear view of the incident. Fabregas demanding Brown be sent off left a bad taste in the mouth.

  12. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Fabregas blotted his copybook playing for Arsenal in CL qualifyier against us



    Since then I’ve disliked him intensely

  13. Wonder how much we get ?



    From BBC GOssip



    Liverpool are lining up deals for Southampton’s Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk, 25, and English midfielder Sam McQueen, 21. The pair will cost the Reds £40m in January.

  14. In normal circumstances


    Familiarity breeds contempt


    With Celtic and Barcelona


    Familiarity breeds respect.

  15. JC2



    I would imagine we would get 10% of any profit Southampton make on VVD. The few quoted over the last few weeks for Virgil has been £30m and I believe Celtic received £10m for him so if the transfer goes ahead we would get a further £2m.



    If both players are sold in the same deal I wouldn’t be surprised for Southampton to value VVD at a lower value and Sam McQueen at a higher value in order to reduce the amount Southampton have to send onto Celtic but I’m sure the SSM would be all over this.

  16. JC2


    In games I’ve seen VVD play, he has been head, shoulders and chest above everyone on the field.


    How much did John Stones cost City? 50 million?


    Add 10 million.

  17. JC2



    Feeder club for Liverpool.



    5 in the last 2 years, four signed by BR.



    Only Lambert has moved on.

  18. VFR,


    You have got me mixed up with another handsome poster , as I have never posted anything about food for less see you as a monster ?


    I’ve posted this on the ” see Enrique” thread last page.


    Also posted is maybe JJ should phone his MP asap and get the cops to move their arses !


    I also asked is the post about KT being possibly banned for his comment a wind up ?



  19. If Stones has been valued at 50M, then VVD is worth at least as much, if not more. That will be another kerchingggggg….. for us. That must sound great to the Sevconites!! :)





    AWE NAW has a glorious history of “AWE NAW”big press articles.



    Master of parody. I think he’s really Jabba. Cos he canny believe a word either,shoooorly…


    Btw,we don’t scare Barcelona. We might offer them some concern,based on history,but no-one worries them.



    They’d be bricking it if they were playing Dundee Utd,mind.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8