The familiar face set to make Celtic Park return after Champions League draw

By Lewis Laird

August 26, 2022

A familiar face will be making a return to Celtic Park this season after yesterday’s Champions League group stage draw pitted the Hoops against RB Leipzig.

The Bhoys were placed into Group F with the German side, as well as European giants Real Madrid and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donestk.

The anticipation for those group games is already well underway, with supporters buzzing to see the club back in the UEFA Champions League.

Photo by Lukas Schulze – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Of course, it won’t only be the Parkhead faithful who are excited for the European nights to roll around once again. The three opposition clubs will also be buzzing to sample the incredible Celtic Park atmosphere under the lights on a European night.

One man in particular, though, at RB Leipzig who is likely to be looking forward to making his return to Parkhead after a four-year spell as a player is Andreas Hinkel.

The German full-back played for the Hoops between 2008-2011 and has now gone on to have a reasonably successful coaching career.

Currently, the 40-year-old is assistant manager at Leipzig to Domenico Tedesco, having also spent time with the Italian coach at Spartak Moscow.

After being drawn alongside Ange Postecoglou’s side, the team who finished 4th in the Bundesliga will be travelling to Glasgow to experience a European night at Paradise for the second time in five years.

And I am sure Hinkel will be looking forward to marking his return to the East End of Glasgow after already experiencing those special European nights as a player during the 2008/09 campaign.

Hinkel still very fond of Celtic and remains in contact with current coach.

Although we will be pitted against the former Stuttgart and Sevilla full-back, it will be great to see him back at Paradise once again.

Hinkel is clearly still very fond of the Hoops and has admitted he would love to return to the club one day, stating it would be an ‘honour’ to hold a potential coaching role at Parkhead.

The ex-German internationalist also remains in contact with a current Celtic coach, John Kennedy, revealing that he spoke to Postecoglou’s assistant ahead of their Europa League tie against the Bhoys Glasgow rivals Rangers last campaign.

I am sure the duo will be sharing more conversations ahead of the meet-up between Celtic and RB Leipzig over the next few months.

However, once those players cross the white line, and the whistle goes for the Champions League group stage games to get underway, there will be no love lost, with both sides desperate to make their mark on Europe this season.

In other news, Report: Matt O’Riley becomes the latest Celtic star attracting attention from European giants.