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Why Scotland Should Support Celtic’s European Adventure

Date: 14th February 2019

I’ve been very happy watching the Scottish clubs in Europe this season. 

Aberdeen were unlucky when the were drawn against English Premier League side Burnley but The Dons fought hard and only lost after pushing the tie into extra time. 

Hibs should great resilience and quality as they negotiated their way passed NSI Runavik and Greek side Asteras Tripolis. The Edinburgh side may have faltered against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde team but getting to the Qualifying second round was a great feat from The Hibees and it will hopefully encourage other Scottish sides to do better next term. 

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side were a real bright spot and no one was expecting it!

The Light Blues in the previous year and been knocked out in their opening tie against Luxembourg minnows Progres Niederkorn. Yet this season under new gaffer Gerrard, The Gers were a solid outfit in the Europa League. 

Rangers managed to get into the group stages after beating teams from Russia, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenian cracks Maribor. The Gers would miss out on the knock-out stages after finishing in third place but they gave a good account of themselves against top teams like Villarreal, Spartak Moscow and Rapid Vienna. 

Celtic suffered disappointment when they lost to AEK Athens in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. 

But the Scottish Premiership champions dusted themselves down and fought hard to get out of their tough Europa League group. Two wins over old foes Rosenborg and a 2-1 triumph over RB Leipzig were enough to see The Hoops progress into the next round alongside Red Bull Salzburg. 

The Parkhead club will now face Valencia later on today in the Europa League’s Round of 32 and I for one will be supporting them against the La Liga giants. 

I’m not a Celtic fan but I want to see all of our Scottish teams doing will in the continental competitions. 

I know I can’t convince everyone to back Brendan Rodgers’ men but let me explain why an extended run in Europe can be great for everyone in Scotland. 

Well if Celtic can go further in the tournament, then we might get more respect from the so called bigger leagues. The Scottish Premiership is improving, in my opinion, and that’s why our teams have done better in Europe this term. 

The Hoops support will be happy because they will get to see other lovely cities. 

It could be a great thing for our coefficient, which has improved greatly this season. 

Plus it could have an impact on the Premiership title race and the Scottish Cup. If Celtic go deeper in the Europa League, their fixtures will start to pile up and maybe they’ll take their eye off the ball domestically or they might suffer from fatigue. That could allow sides like Rangers, Aberdeen and/or Kilmarnock a chance to close gaps or claim a Scottish Cup triumph. 

It’s also great to see Scottish talent doing so well against European sides. Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie have all blossomed in Europe during this campaign and that’s been great for our national team. Hopefully Oliver Burke and Scott Bain can star in a Hoops jersey if they get their chance against Valencia. 

I know some of Celtic’s rivals will never support them and I get it, that’s all part of the game. 

But I urge people to look beyond the bias and see that it’s great for all of Scottish football if the Premiership champions can go further in the Europa League! 

By Scott Johnston (

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