Nomme Kalju star has already experienced Celtic Park

By David Walton

July 16, 2019

Nomme Kalju defender Mikk Reintam has stated that he’s already experienced the raucous atmosphere of Celtic Park.

Not many will know of Reintam’s short spell in Scotland back in 2015. The Estonian was part of Championship side Alloa Athletic’s squad when Rangers were battling in the Championship with them.

Now, Reintam is featuring for the champions of his own country. But he’s not been a stranger to Celtic Park either, visiting during Champions League qualifiers against both Stjarnan and Qarabag respectively. A taste of both Parkhead and Ibrox has the Estonian itching to sample more.

Celtic Park continues to be a special Champions League arena (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Reintam has never played competitively at Celtic Park. But, speaking to the Scottish Sun, he knows why people think Parkhead has the best atmosphere in world football.

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“I went to two of Celtic’s early Champions League games, against Stjarnan of Iceland then Qarabag of Azerbaijan. It was terrific to be there with the stadium full.

“You can see why people in Scotland think there’s no better atmosphere anywhere in the world. That was the big thing I took away from playing in Scotland — fan culture.

“Alloa were a part-time team but there was clearly a big link between them and their support. I liked that.”

Mikk Reintam has a big deficit to overturn first

You can’t blame the players of Nomme Kalju or Shkendija for getting a tad over-excited when it comes to facing Celtic in the second Champions League qualifying round. The Hoops are almost a cert to be in the draw after their 3-1 win in Sarajevo last week.

As for Kalju, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, the Estonian outfit are currently 1-0 down ahead of a trip to Macedonia against Shkendija today. It’s going to be a big ask to turn the tie around, but the winners certainly have a glorious prize ahead of them if they can.

Nomme Kalju could be next up for Celtic (Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

Celtic Park’s shock factor still rocks clubs of this size easily. So many will have heard and seen the great noise of Parkhead, and it’s an arena that still wows people from all over the world.

Celtic’s home dominance in Europe was once one of the great traits of the club. Now, however, we’ve won just three of their last 16 European games at Parkhead post-qualifiers. Still, it doesn’t stop the atmosphere inside Parkhead from being electric on European nights.

Neil Lennon’s Celtic are settling in nicely to the Champions League qualifiers (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With a bit of luck, Celtic can restore some of the reputation that’s been dented over the last several years. Success in Europe gets further and further away from us thanks to UEFA. But a win in the second qualifying round takes us one big step closer to the Champions League group stages.

If Reintam’s point of view is anything to go by, some of the Kalju players will be starstruck if they walk out of the Parkhead tunnel.