Celtic are facing a win-or-go-home scenario when they host AC Milan in Tuesday evening’s Champions League group stage match. A win could see Celtic catapulted into second place; a loss would effectively eliminate the Hoops from this season’s European competition.
For those who haven’t seen a Champions League match from Celtic Park, you may only have one more chance to do it this season. This may be difficult for American viewers because FOX (in all its wisdom) has elected to leave the match off its television schedules on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.
(Editors note- Celtic v. AC Milan will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Plus)
On a Champions League night, Celtic Park is arguably the best atmosphere in all of Europe. For years, Celtic’s home support has been hailed for its passion and pageantry on big occasions. It starts with the banners and mosaic surrounding the ground, continues with the team entrances, and is followed by Celtic supporters’ awe-inspiring rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Throughout the match, the noise inside the legendary Scottish ground reaches deafening levels as the Bhoys fans literally shake the stands with their renditions of “I Just Can’t Get Enough” and “Come on you Bhoys in Green”.
Prior to last season’s Champions League quarterfinal, Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo compared Parkhead to a “gladiator arena”. When asked about his best experience as a player, Michael Owen (ex-Liverpool, Man U, Newcastle and Real Madrid striker) said: “The best atmosphere I ever played in was at Celtic Park in the UEFA Cup for Liverpool.” And this year, Gerard Pique added his thoughts on playing at the home of the Glasgow giants: “It’s always tough to win away games in the Champions League and the atmosphere at Celtic Park is the best in Europe.”
A travelling Barcelona supporter was interviewed prior to this season’s Group Stage encounter at Celtic Park. The Catalan fan had been to the 2012-13 Champions League match between Celtic and Barcelona; this is what he said:
“Before going to Glasgow some people from Catalonia told me that Celtic fans were awesome. I tried to think how it could be – but when you are there is so much more than you can imagine. I didn’t see the match, anything. I couldn’t stop looking the Celtic stands, I couldn’t stop filming everything. But the best moment was immediately after the match, a rain of Celtic scarfs started over our heads. I gave my scarf to somebody, my estelada (independentist flag of Catalonia) to some other. I’d been in a lot of stadiums and I’d never seen anything like this before.”