Champions League Focus: Nomme Kalju

By Hamish Carton

June 2, 2019

Nomme Kalju are the latest club we’re going to look at as we continue our journey through the list of potential opponents for Celtic in Champions League qualification.

(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The club from the Estonian capital of Tallinn were founded 96 years ago. They’ve won the league title on just two occasions – in 2012 and 2018.

Their most recent title was won in fashion that will be familiar to Celtic fans. Kalju went through the entire 2018 campaign unbeaten, winning 25 and drawing 11 of their 36 matches.

(Photo by Ercin Top/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

European pedigree

Next season will be the Pink Panthers second ever in the Champions League. They competed in the qualifiers back in 2013, beating Helsinki before being knocked out by Viktoria Plzen.

They’ve played in the Europa League for each of the past five seasons reaching the third qualifying round in 2016 before being knocked out by Turkish side Osmanlispor.

(Photo by Rasit Aydogan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Their best known player is captain Vitali Teles. He’s been at the club since 2012 and has played more than 100 times. The rest of the Kalju squad is made up mainly of Estonians although there are players from other nations such as Brazil and Italy.

The Hiiu Stadium where Kalju play has a capacity of just 650 so any match against Celtic would probably be moved. They would provide an element of unknown but they’re not a team Celtic would fear in the slightest.