Liel Abada explains why he wants Celtic to face PSG next season

By David Walton

May 29, 2022

Celtic winger Liel Abada has admitted that he wants to face Lionel Messi’s PSG in the Champions League next season.

The Hoops are back in the big time after securing the Scottish Premiership title in the 2021/22 campaign. It’s a huge boost for the club both financially and in terms of reputation.

Celtic have faced PSG in the past with the two sides coming up against each other back in 2017. In truth, both were nights to forget for Brendan Rodgers’ side after suffering a 5-0 loss at Parkhead and a 7-1 defeat in Paris.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

But Abada would love to come up against this idol Messi, who himself has visited Celtic Park as a player on several occasions.

Speaking via the Daily Record [print edition, 28/05, page 63], Abada said: “The Champions League was a childhood dream. It’s going to be a very challenging season.

“In Israel my hero was Yossi Benayoun. He is an admirable figure for everyone. Abroad? It’s Messi. He has 7 Ballon d’Ors and is just incredible. Expressing yourself year after year like he has is amazing. Theoretically I could play him this season with PSG in the Champions League group stage. That would be amazing but we will wait for the draw and see.”

Celtic winger Liel Abada ready to tackle PSG and Lionel Messi next season

You couldn’t blame some Celtic fans for having trouble sleeping after the 2 results against PSG back in 2017. Both were grim nights and were an unfair reflection of the quality we had.

At the same time, you had to appreciate what we were up against. Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani were all on absolute fire at that point. Unai Emery was putting together a new team worth a meteoric figure that Celtic couldn’t come close to touching in the transfer window.

So in a way, it would be nice to face off against them again next year. We could do with showing a more competitive side to ourselves, even if it is largely down to how PSG perform on the night. Make no mistake, we would be relying on them having an off night.

Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images

But you can’t make the Champions League and then want to avoid all of the tough opponents that come with it. As we’ve found out in recent years, we can’t be complacent against anyone. So we might as well go big now that we’ve managed to get there.

Abada and the rest of his Celtic teammates will be absolutely desperate to challenge themselves against the very best. Many will have aspirations of playing at the top level. Getting a taste of it this season is what it’s all about for them.

And if it is PSG that comes out of the hat in August? Bring it on.

In other news, Video: Former Celtic winger produces moment of MLS brilliance