Marcelino Garcia Toral believes Celtic Park can be better than Anfield
The old debate of Parkhead vs Anfield has plenty of opinions attached to it, but Valencia manager Marcelino Garcia Toral believes the former can trump the latter.
The Valencia gaffer has the experience too. He once coached at Anfield in the past when he was the Villarreal manager. A Europa League semi-final defeat for Toral had the Merseyside ground rocking, so he’s certainly seen it at its best.
Yet tonight, he’ll be in for an even more hostile welcome. His Valencia side pitch up tonight at Parkhead in the first-leg of their last-32 clash.
Toral has spoken of his excitement at going to Celtic Park for the first time in the Daily Record, but also believes it can top his Anfield experiences too.
“We heard it is a spectacular atmosphere and one of best in European football. We are very excited about that.
“I have played an important match at Anfield before and I think it will be similar atmosphere if not better.
“I think all professional footballers want to be play in this kind of atmosphere so we will have maximum motivation. The fans make the game spectacular, they make it difficult for the opposition.”
Parkhead certainly tops Anfield for us
Both are legendary stadiums, but Celtic Park has a far better atmosphere than Anfield if you ask any of us Hoops fans. No doubt the Liverpool supporters will feel the same on the other side.
More importantly, Valencia players need to know that they’re in a boisterous environment tonight. Against Zenit St Petersburg last season, Celtic fans had the famous old ground rocking. The Russians couldn’t cope with it, and Celtic bossed the game.
Considering Valencia put so much emphasis on their accurate passing and movement of the ball, we can play a huge part tonight. A vocal crowd at Parkhead does odd things to the opposition, with loose passes a primary advantage.
Toral will undoubtedly warn his side of what to expect tonight. The truth is, however, he has no idea what he’s in for either.
He’s right to big Parkhead up over Anfield. Whether it be against Rosenborg, Leipzig, Salzburg, AEK Athens, or Alashkert – Celtic Park has always stunned on European nights this season.
Here’s hoping the same can be said about its effect on Valencia tonight.