Edwin van der Sar doesn't want Celtic in Champions League qualifiers

By Connor Gordon

July 16, 2019

Edwin van der Sar believes Celtic shouldn’t play Champions League qualifiers.

The Dutchman has been a vocal supporter of historical teams gaining automatic entry. The former goalkeeper reiterated that he still thinks this should be the case for select teams.

Celtic face Sarajevo tomorrow in what could be their second of eight qualifying games.

Edwin van der Sar backs Celtic and Ajax

The football supremo feels that historical input should be taken into account for the Champions League.

Edwin van der Sar playing against Celtic in pre-season years ago. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Van der Sar believes the current system is unfair with poorer teams getting further than those with merit.

He told VoetbalPrimeur: “Clubs such as Celtic, FC Copenhagen and Ajax should not depend on their position in the UEFA ranking, but should be rewarded for their national and European achievements.

“It feels a bit unfair that reaching the semi-final of the Champions League and winning both the national title and the KNVB Cup is worth less than finishing fourth in a top four competition.”

Ajax will enter the competition just a round ahead of Celtic who negotiate a first round tie.

Celtic beating FK Sarajevo last week in the qualifiers. (Photo by ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/Getty Images)

The Hoops have all but dispatched Sarajevo but have had to commence their pre-season in mid June.

Some players are still with their national sides when their clubs return back to competitions.

Edwin van der Sar gives downsides to early start

The season returns for Celtic and Ajax just a few weeks after the previous one finishes.

Celtic’s first pre-season match was on June 25th, when some of their future opponents haven’t even put sun cream on during their holidays.

This is posing difficulty for some massive clubs in the game.

Van der Sar says: “That means that you have to be ready very early in the season, which brings a lot of extra pressure.

Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham missed club’s pre-season on international duty. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

“A number of our players have already started in the third week of June, but the best internationals of our team are starting much later through the Nations League, African Cup and Copa America.”

Celtic will play the following midweek if tomorrow night goes to plan.

This will continue for the next few weeks until Champions League qualification is complete.