The image of a Celtic team doing the almost unthinkable away from home in Europe while wearing a bright yellow strip is an inspiring one.
We’ve had black, green, white and even pink away kits over the years. But nothing quite captures the imagination like a simple yellow shirt with few other features. That was the endearing image from the night we beat Boavista and qualified for the UEFA Cup final in 2003. And it was the same image in the same competition on Thursday.
Sure, Europe’s secondary club competition has been rebranded, and renamed, since then. But the Celtic memories still linger on. Yellow continues to be the colour most closely associated with glorious European away days.
Yellow isn’t the only thing linking two talented Celtic teams
If you’ve thought of that too then you’re not alone. Celtic fan @CellicFC on Twitter posted a striking comparison between two images – one from Boavista in 2003 and one from Rome in 2019.
— Edouaouaouaouard (@CellicFC) November 7, 2019
So much has changed since those glory days under Martin O’Neill, yet so much has stayed the same. The joy on the faces of the Celtic players is identical in both images, while the yellow and dark green trim could be cut from the same cloth.
Fittingly, Neil Lennon has something to do with both images. He may not be pictured in the 2019 version of European joy but he did have a massive say, just like in 2003.
Comparisons are likely to be made between O’Neill’s side and Lennon’s in the coming months. The manner is which we won in the Stadio Olimpico was alarmingly similar to the run to Seville when we saw off the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool and Celta Vigo.
Many will ponder whether this current side can do the unthinkable and reach Gdansk where the final will be played on May 27th. The truth is that we won’t know until they succeed or fail – such are the fine margins at the top level of football.
But this side undoubtedly stand the best chance of doing it since O’Neill’s.