AC Milan great Demetrio Albertini has stated that Celtic are an “excellent side” as he bigged up the Hoops’ quality ahead of Thursday night.
Celtic are in a bad moment after losing Saturday’s Glasgow derby match against Rangers at Parkhead. However, their performances in Europe last season did plenty to help our reputation on the continent.
The Hoops managed to beat Italian giants Lazio both home and away, as well as get the better of Rennes and Cluj in the Europa group stages.
This season, they’re looking to do it all again after being drawn against Milan, Lille, and Sparta Prague respectively. And it appears that our exploits in the Europa last season caught the eye of Albertini, who won 14 competitions over 14 years with the Rossoneri.
As quoted by the Sunday Post, Albertini said: “I think player for player, they are superior to Celtic and, if they play to the level they did at the end of last season, they can beat them. But if not, I think Celtic could cause them big problems because they look to me to be an excellent side, and one which boasts great international experience.
“I would advise them (Celtic) to believe in their chances against Milan for those reasons, and also because that is how the best successes are achieved. If we were putting the teams against each other over the course of a season, I would say differently.
“But in the Europa League, teams can upset the odds. Celtic themselves have shown what is possible, by coming to Rome last November and beating Lazio. I like Scottish football. It is physical, certainly, but for me it is improving on a technical and a tactical level.”
A terrific way to bounce back after yesterday’s debacle
Even at such an early stage of the season, Celtic are looking for a tonic to what was a shocking result and performance against Rangers on Saturday.
Picking up three points at St Mirren or St Johnstone is all well and good, but it never truly wipes away the pain of a derby defeat. Taking three points off of high-flying AC Milan? That’s a totally different story.
The Celtic players can count themselves lucky they have such a mouth-watering fixture to try and bounce back with. Should Neil Lennon’s side manage to continue the building of their European reputation, there won’t be many minds dwindling back to Saturday.
It’s worlds apart from having to sulk over a derby defeat heading into an international break for example. Or even trying to bounce back in a gloomy fixture against a bottom six side. It’s night and day in truth.
Better yet, Celtic will then be at Pittodrie next Sunday looking to bounce back in the Premiership at Aberdeen – another fine fixture to push memories of Saturday to the back of our minds. A couple of positive results this week and we can finally say we’ve pressed the reset button and are ready to go again.
This isn’t a week where we can afford poor characters or weak minds to dominate the dressing room. Celtic have the ability on the pitch to topple AC Milan at Parkhead, but it’s all about whether the players actually believe it.