Celtic captain Callum McGregor names team's preferred Champions League draw

By John McGinley

July 12, 2022

Callum McGregor isn’t shying away from a challenge this season and is hoping Celtic pull one of the most difficult teams out of the hat in August’s Champions League draw.

Real Madrid won last season’s tournament and will be among the front runners for the 2022/23 edition too.

Naturally, they are pot one seeds and therefore are one of 24 teams that Celtic could be drawn against in the group stages. McGregor has never played the Spanish giants and has named them as a preferred option for ‘everyone’.

Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Speaking to Celtic TV, he said: “Everyone keeps asking me who I want to face. I’ve played at some pretty big stadiums but the one I’ve not played yet is Madrid.

“I think everyone will probably join me in saying they want them in the group, as well.

“We’re looking forward to it, whoever we get. It’ll be a big test for us, so we have to be ready.”

Celtic have played against Real Madrid in the European Cup before but well before McGregor’s time, of course.

In 1980, the Bhoys made it to the quarter-final and played out a famous two-leg battle against Real.

Goals from George McCluskey and Johnny Doyle at Paradise gave Celtic a 2-0 aggregate lead heading to the Bernabeu.

However, the home side would overcome that with three goals of their own, the last of which came just five minutes before the final whistle of the second leg.

The disparity between the two sides is much greater in the modern age, but it would still be thrilling to see Celtic test themselves against the reigning European champions.

I’m with McGregor, bring them on!

In other news, Celtic hero feeling benefits of “really intense” double sessions at Austrian training camp.