"It's not lost on me"; Celtic boss Postecoglou on significance of Seville

By Euan Davidson

September 16, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is more than aware of the club’s history in Seville.

The Bhoys embarked on a monumental, breath-taking run to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003. 80,000 or more Celtic fans made the trip to Seville for that final, with scenes reminiscent of Lisbon in 1967.

By hook or by crook, the Hoops faithful made the trip to sweltering Andalusia, winning friends along the way, and awards afterwards [Herald]. However, Martin O’Neill’s men just missed out on winning the trophy, beaten by a Porto side that would win the Champions League a season after.

As bittersweet memories go for Celtic fans, Seville is next to the San Siro in 1970.

And Postecoglou’s aware of that history, too.

Rather than repeat it, though, the Greek-Aussie boss wants to expand on it, creating new memories for the supporters.

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

Postecoglou said [Scotsman]:

“I’m very aware of Seville in 2003.

“I’m sitting in a room now surrounded by images of Martin O’Neill and the fantastic Celtic support that followed us there for that game, so it’s not lost on me.

“The one thing about this football club is if you can create a special memory, it’s chronicled here and it’s elevated to a status where the people involved can one day come back here in years to come and be able to reflect on it.

“That’s the opportunity that this group now has, whether it’s in this game, or in the coming games, or the coming years.”

Ange Postecoglou continues to strike the right tone with Celtic fans ahead of Seville return

Ange Postecoglou just gets it.

If all he’d said was “Yes, this is an important city for Celtic fans, it’s nice to be back”, that probably would’ve been enough. He doesn’t need to pretend to be a ‘Celtic Man’, or a club historian.

Instead, he’s drawing on the influence of Martin O’Neill’s side, and the supporters, to inspire the players. The fact that he’s missing key players doesn’t deter him from his ambition of securing a big result tonight.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Because while winning against Real Betis in Seville wouldn’t exorcise the demons of 2003, it would be a big deal for Celtic nonetheless. Against quality opposition, tonight represents a real marker for how far the Bhoys have come under Postecoglou’s management.

He’ll be up against it, no doubt, with Abada, McGregor, Taylor, Forrest, Giakouamakis, Kyogo and Jullien all out. Celtic fans are probably hoping for the best and planning for the worst today.

But not Postecoglou. He’s driven by history and his own determination to make new memories for Celtic fans.

In other news: Celtic defender Josip Juranovic counting on fans watching Betis clash at home