30 August 2012

Celtic in the Champions League

The draw for the group stages of the Champions League was earlier today.  Celtic FC, after an impressive 4-0 aggregate playoff victory over Helsingborgs, are taking part for the first time since 2008.  They were drawn into a group with Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow.  A tough draw for sure, but to be fair, since Celtic were seeded in Pot 4, there wasn't any way that they would get a much easier draw.
In his press conference after the draw, manager and former caption Neil Lennon had this exchange:

Reporter: "Would the aim be to finish third in the group?" (The top 2 places advance, the third place goes into the Europa Cup and the fourth place goes home.)

Lennon: "No.  It's to win it.  It maybe unrealistic but why would you want to finish third?  Anything can happen in the group stages, especially if you start well."

I love that.  With the Olympics providing lots of recent examples, reporters ask the most asinine questions. And I love when someone has the wherewithal to tell them exactly what they are thinking.  And that attitude of, well we're not as good as those teams so let's just plan on scraping along at the bottom, is such crap.  No successful athlete, coach or individual thinks like that.
I'm eager to cheer on Celtic as they compete against the best of Europe!

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