Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo has been spending his pre-match duties showering Celtic with praise ahead of Thursday night.
The Spaniard has been looking forward to facing Celtic for “some time”, and will most likely start the match at Celtic Park.
Celtic host Valencia in the Europa League last-32, looking to be the first Scottish Cup to have qualified for the last-16 of the competition since it was revamped from its old UEFA Cup format.
And Parejo has been quick to hail Celtic for their history and reputation for atmosphere. Speaking in the Daily Record, it’s clear Celtic have a strong admirer in the Valencia number 10.
“I am looking forward to this game immensely and have been for some time.
“When you face a team like Celtic you are not just playing normal opponents you are playing against history. Everyone knows about the history of Celtic and their stadium and their supporters. They will be an extremely difficult rival and in an intimidating atmosphere.
“Whenever you play in Europe they are special matches and even more so at this stage. But our mentality now is that we go to win every game and that will certainly be the case in Glasgow.”
Tough, tough opposition
Celtic are coming up against a real class outfit on Thursday night. Parejo also claimed that Valencia view this competition as a winnable one – that shows the standard of opposition Celtic are coming up against.
But that’s never stopped Parkhead from putting fear into rival opponents before. As we all know, the likes of AC Milan, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona have all come to Celtic Park and been rocked by the atmosphere. There’s no reason that can’t happen to Valencia.
It’s clear to see Celtic still have a strong reputation in Spain. They’ve had hugely impressive results against Spanish opposition in the past, and that seems to be acknowledged over there.
Parejo certainly outlined just how impressed he was with the club’s tradition. Here’s hoping, come full time, he’ll be just as impressed with our quality on the park.