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Quotes - About Celtic
Quotes by Non-Celts"The unconditional support of the best fans on the continent."
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona (before UEFA Cup game in 2004)
"Plus qu'un club, un peuple" ("More than a club, a people")
French Newspaper L'Equipe (Dec 2012), link
"Celtic enjoys a greater community spirit than any other club in the world."
Archie MacPherson, Legendary sports broadcaster & journalist
"[Celtic] a club whose very raison d'etre was charity."
Newspaper Report on The Glasgow Charity Cup 1889
"The Celtic are blessed with having a following that simply defy the elements, whose enthusiasm for the club is never lukewarm."
Scottish Referee magazine (7 September 1891)
"A football club who still like to think of themselves as an extended family."
Hugh McIlvaney (legendary sports writer) on Celtic & our fans
"No greater honour could be paid the Celtic than the desire of other clubs to beat them. The sensation of beating the Celtic is a sensation unequalled by victory over any other club and thus it is that the Parkhead team find greater effort put forward against them by opposing clubs than is generated at any other time … They go out to win all the time, and no club does more to keep alive the interest in our national sport. They would be foolish, however, to think that they can never be beaten, and I don’t believe they regret an occasional reverse after the first pang is over. Monopoly in football, or anything else, is not for the general good."
‘John O’ Groat’ in the Weekly Mail and Record, 30 March 1918, (from Craig, Jim; Woods, Pat (2013) - Celtic: Pride and Passion)
"The world renowned Glasgow Celtic FC … The accomplishments and the record of the Glasgow Celtic are international bywords … Perhaps no other soccer team in the world can boast of being better known than the Glasgow Celtic … It is unquestionably true that no club of such youthful origin has achieved the world-wide fame of this great Irish club … The famous Glasgow Celtic soccer team is with us at last, the greatest team in the world, bar none."
New York magazine, Soccer Star, dedicated its 21 May 1931 edition with the above quote (from Craig, Jim; Woods, Pat (2013) - Celtic: Pride and Passion)
"More Irish than the Irish themselves...."
W.P. Murphy, Sunday Independent (Irish newspaper) (13 Apr 1952)
"Celtic have reinvented football. It was a beautiful night of football. We thank Celtic and are grateful to Real Madrid for being worthy of the occasion. The Scots played stronger and better and deserved their victory. May the football which Celtic play stay among us. Amen."
Marca Spanish Newspaper (1967) link
"...in the days of the [British] Empire, Celtic broke barriers..."
Boria Majumdar deputy editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport on the signing of Mohammed Salim (link)
"Celtic fans, you are great, you are marvellous."
Sepp Blatter (FIFA President, 2003)
"We felt it right that when Fifa came to us for nominations for the world award we should nominate them (the Celtic fans). The whole of that week they were just magnificent, even after their side were defeated.”
Uefa spokesman Mike Lee (2003)
"I have never played in such an atmosphere..."
Liverpool striker Michael Owen after Celtic 1-1 Liverpool (2003)
"You should feel proud to have fans such as these in Glasgow who give their city and country a good name."
Alfredo Sanchez Monteseirin mayor of Seville (2003)
"Best atmosphere I ever played in was at Celtic Park in the UEFA Cup for Liverpool."
Michael Owen (ex-Liverpool, Man U, Newcastle and Real Madrid Striker, via Twitter Feb 2013) (link)
"Football will survive because of teams like Celtic and its fans."
Age Hareide (Helsingborg manager, 2012)
Ancelotti [AC Milan Manager]would certainly welcome back Celtic to the Champions League on a regular basis, if only for their supporters. The sight of 10,000 Celtic fans giving their team a standing ovation at the end prompted Ancelotti to reflect that Scottish football followers could teach their Italian counterparts a lesson in loving the game.
“This is what we need in Italy, this type of environment. This was the essence of sport. To hear the Celtic fans singing and chanting after the game was incredible.”
Ancelotti (AC Milan Manager 2007, Fri. March 9th London Times).
"Rangers or Celtic?
My first feeling was Celtic. When I was 13 years old I saw for the first time in my life a European Cup final - Inter against Celtic. That image is, even today, clear in my mind; that day, that game, Jimmy Johnstone, Riva... I was so impressed. When I was in Mozambique, far away from football in Europe, I always remembered that day and that team. Especially because when they started to play in the national stadium in Portugal I thought Celtic were Sporting Lisbon because they dressed like Sporting."
Carlos Quieroz (Man U assistant manager in 2007)
William Gaillard (UEFA's director of communications and public affairs) speaking after the European Cup final between Liverpool and AC Milan in 2007, was asked about what is going to be done in the future when another British club gets into the final and there is the same problems of fan behaviour/troubles getting into the ground. His answer?
"......Well, Celtic fans a couple of years ago went to Seville in the Uefa Cup Final and took over 3 times the amount of fans there. There was not one bit of trouble as all the fans that had no tickets stayed in the square and had a big party. Every team should follow Celtic's fan behaviour and that mentality"
William Gaillard, (UEFA's director of communications and public affairs, 24/05/07 Sky Sports News)
"Celtic, like Barcelona, are more than a football club. Our clubs are a symbol of a culture and community that has not always been made welcome in their respective countries."
Xavi (Barcelona midfielder)
"The atmosphere generated by the fans in Celtic’s stadium for our visit was the most impressive I’ve ever witnessed. The grounds of Liverpool and Manchester United are good and the hostile feeling of playing against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu is also excellent, but the atmosphere against Celtic was the best."
Xavi (Barcelona) (Sep 2004)
"Every professional footballer should seek to play at least one game at Celtic Park. I have never felt anything like it."
Paolo Maldini (AC Milan & Italy legend)
"Celtic fans are some of the greatest supporters I know."
AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf (Oct 2007)
"The Celtic fans are incredible. It is always great to play there."
Cristiano Ronaldo, Man U (2008)
On Eurosport, they were looking at the highlights and lowlights of the last round of CL games. One of the lows was the tackle on Scott Brown, but the highlights were the Celtic fans. To paraphrase the commentator "You may think your fans are good but take look at these" before showing YNWA (and gave it respect in silence). He also added: "You may have it good here at Anfield but the Celtic fans do it best!" Superb stuff.Eurosport (Nov 07)
"It will stick in my mind for ever that after the game the Celtic players were extremely good sportsmen and, together with their supporters, they gave us a standing ovation when we were receiving the cup."
Eddy Pieters Graafland (Feyenoord goalkeeper) after the 1970 European Cup final
“Celtic have all the cool people supporting them. Rangers have me and Wet Wet Wet!”
Alan McGee’s lament on the great truth
(Alan McGee [a fans of Rangers/OldCo] was the founder of Creation Records and the former manager of Oasis (who also happen to be Man City and Celtic fans))
"Anyone going to Celtic Park now is saying, 'You've got to beat that atmosphere, the energy they spend in their games'."
Alex Ferguson (Sep 08)
"I fell a bit in love with Celtic, because the atmosphere was amazing and the crowd was magnificent, the way they behaved with the Porto fans."
Jose Mourinho (June 2003)
"When I was at Porto my team also played in the UEFA Cup final against a Scottish side - but it was Celtic. I've never seen such emotional people. It was unbelievable!"
Jose Mourinho (ex-Porto Manager) looking back on the UEFA cup final 2003 (May 2008)
"The Celtic fans are incredible. It is always great to play there."
Ronaldo (Man U & Portugal player) Nov 08
Ferguson isn't scared to say it - at the post match press conference he said, talking about the CP atmosphere:
"We [Man Utd] would love to have an atmosphere like that, but..." and then just cuts off. Says it all.
Alex Ferguson (2008)
'The Greatest Team on Earth'
Local billing for Celtic on a visit to the Midlands in the 1890s, shows how great and long our history is.
"Celtic appear to have magical powers of obtaining new players and in a few months instilling them with the Celtic Spirit."
James Gordon, captain of Rangers in 1916
"This is the most fantastic support in the world. I hope you win."
Franz Beckenbaur (German football legend on Celtic v Bayern Munich)
"Celtic fans, you are great, you are marvellous!"
Sepp Blatter (UEFA President)
"Celtic Park is the noisiest ground in the world."
Hugh Dallas (Scottish Referee)
"It is absolutely spectacular to see the fans like that "
Alberto Gilardino (Italian footballer)
"The atmosphere inside Celtic Park is one of the best in Europe it's absolutely incredible"
Sven Goran Eriksson (ex-England manager)
"The atmosphere here tonight was unbelievable and it's an honour to play in such an arena."
Oliver Kahn (German national goalkeeper)
"Every professional footballer should seek to play at least one game at Celtic Park, I have never felt anything like it"
Paolo Maldini (Italian football legend)
"I have never experienced anything like it. This is a lesson for all football clubs about how to be proper football supporters, This is the best club in the world."
Michael Platini (French Football legend)
"Every club wants to play Celtic and for the right reasons."
Michel Platini (UEFA & French Football Legend)
"The incredible thing was the people, for an opposition player it is quite incredible,I have not seen a better atmosphere from the grounds I have visited"
Steven Gerard (Liverpool player)
"I speak for everyone when I describe the behaviour of the Celtic supporters as immaculate, with all the bother concerning racial insults and hooligan behaviour, these fans were a breath of fresh air."
"In my experience, which embraces big matches at Old Trafford, Anfield, Ibrox, the San Siro & the Nou Camp, there's nowhere else remotely like Celtic Park in full flow."
Brian Viner (The Independent newspaper)
"When we played at Celtic Park for Bayern in the Champions League it was unbelievable and I think all our players said the same thing afterwards. The atmosphere was just totally unique. I've played in lots of big games and stadiums but I've never witnessed fans making that much noise in 90 minutes."
Owen Hargreaves (Man U & England footballer)
"When I signed for Bolton they presented me to the crowd before the Jimmy Phillips testimonial. The Celtic fans made an impression on me because there were more of them than Bolton supporters at that game. Celtic are popular for testimonials because everyone knows they will fill the stadium - and I've always had great admiration of them. Their fans have a reputation as one of the best and that's on merit because of the great atmosphere they create."
GudJohnsen (Norway footballer)
"This place makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, there is nowhere like it in football, and I can see how the people love to play here and speak so highly of it."
Eto (Barcelona player)
"It will be a real pleasure to visit Celtic Park and feel the atmosphere of a great UEFA Champions League night at such a great venue. The Celtic supporters are fantastic, in fact the best travelling supporters in the world as we have seen many times. I know that Celtic supporters are extremely passionate about their club, a club which I believe, like FC Barcelona, is different. We know that supporters will travel in huge numbers to follow their team, but we also know the great reputation of good behaviour which Celtic fans enjoy and clearly we are looking forward to hosting the Celtic fans in the city once again. We hope all Celtic supporters enjoy their visit to Barcelona."
Laporta (President FC Barcelona)
“The Scottish team [Celtic] doesn’t need to be defined, they are a historic team in the world of football. They have such great passion for the sport."
FC Barcelona director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta after being drawn again with Celtic in the European Cup (Aug 2012)
"We know Celtic have a special group of fans..."
Messi [Barcelona] (Nov 2012)
“The Celtic fans deserve to be in Europe. They have been amazing in both games we have played against them recently. We knew what they were going to be like in Glasgow but the way they were in Barcelona after they had just lost in the way they did was amazing. I have never seen anything like that before."
Messi [Barcelona] (Dec 2012)
"Nothing could put me off Celtic. Even poking my eyes out wouldn’t stop me from going If that happened, I’d still turn up for the atmosphere. Celtic is more than just a football club it’s a cultural icon. It’s an emblem of the Irish diaspora which is very important to me. My father took me to my first game against Dunfermline in 1962. We won but I don’t know the score. I just remember the sea of green and white. There were 70 to 80,000 Celtic fans really crammed in it was the biggest crowd I’d ever seen. The Irish flag flew then, as it does now over Parkhead, and I thought I was at home."
George Galloway (MP, Member of UK Parliament)
"Celtic, a fine institution, a great club."
David Murray (ex-Rangers Chairman & Director, 19 Mar 2012)
"The Celtic fans are very special and the club and players can be very proud of them. They are the best I have ever heard."
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona Player, Oct 2012) before Celtic 2-1 Barcelona
"I have played many games for Spain/Barca but I've never heard fans like Celtic, they were amazing, not quiet for a single second!"
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona Player, Oct 2012) after Celtic 2-1 Barcelona
"...I can’t think of fans creating a better atmosphere, anywhere, than those at Celtic Park."
Alan Green (Radio 5 Commentator) writing in the Belfast Telegraph Nov 2012
"I admit to being hyper-sensitive about deliberate agendas as, when I joined the BBC more than four decades ago, I found myself in a departmental anti-Catholic, anti-Celtic ethos which I had to fight against..."
Archie Macpherson (Nov 2012) (link)
“I have got a friendly, good perception of Glasgow Celtic, now they are my second team. I have got a sympathetic relation with the club, with the history of that club. I will be very happy if Glasgow Celtic goes to the second round.”
FC Barcelona’s vice-president Carles Vilarrubí (Dec 2012)
"There isn't a better atmosphere in world football than Celtic Park."
Ray Wilkins (ex-Glasgow Rangers (Oldco) player) (2012)
"The fantastic Celtic fans gave a real lesson in civility in sport. The chants and insults which blight too many games in Serie A are light years away from the spectacle of education and sportsmanship that the people in the Celtic away end offered... That horizontal striped white and green jersey is the uniform of a club worthy of the applause of the world."
Xavier Jacobelli www.calciomercato.com after Celtic's 2-0 defeat away to Juventus (link) (Feb 2013)
"There is perhaps no greater home pitch advantage in all of football than a Celtic home match at Celtic Park."
“The atmosphere in the Maksimir was not so bad – we expected a little bit tougher. The atmosphere at Celtic Park, on the other hand, was the best I’ve ever seen or heard.I couldn’t shout out to make myself heard by a team-mate standing just two yards away. It was fantastic, I loved it. It was 10 times noisier at Celtic Park than it was in the Maksimir. I’m sure of that."
Serbian striker Nikola Djurdic of Helsingborg (Mar 2013)
"[Celtic are a] team of 'European trophy-winning pedigree'"
UEFA.com on Celtic (2013)
"I’ve been fortunate to play in some great stadiums in Europe with Barcelona but none compare to Celtic. The atmosphere their fans create make it a very special European night of football."
Messi (Sep 2013)
“Then when I got out on the pitch and the match began, I tried to communicate with my team player.But I heard nothing.The audience had such a mood.I did not hear what my team players said, if they called me or even the slightest, because it was such a beautiful and awesome atmosphere.It’s probably the best I have seen on the pitch.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic recalls his experience of Celtic from the Ajax 1-0 Celtic match of 2001 (2013)
"Celtic fans confirm what I've always known. They are the Greatest. Good luck to Stan and the 60,000 sell out crowd for today's charity game."
Bernie Slaven via twitter (ex-Middlesborough player and club legend) on Celtic's benefit match for Petrov (Sep 2013)
"Atmosphere at Celtic Park is the best in Europe."
Gerard Piquié of Barcelona (Sep 2013)
"It's up there with Madrid and Camp Nou. They are a healthy club and with great fans. They are an example how to run a club."
Frank de Boer (Ajax manager and former Rangers player) on Celtic Park with a possible dig in at his old club (Oct 2013)
"I fulfilled a long-standing ambition on Tuesday night when I sat in the stands to watch Celtic play a European game at Parkhead.
"The experience against Ajax did not disappoint and it was one of the best atmospheres I have ever experienced.
"A lot used to be said about what Anfield was like on a European night but, as a player in those games, you don’t really hear the noise as you are concentrating so much.
"At times on Tuesday, it felt like the ground was shaking, not least when it seemed as if 60,000 fans had started doing ‘the Poznan’.
"It was difficult to watch the game, as I kept looking around to take in everything. "The noise was deafening. only a handful of clubs can come close to generating the same kind of noise and intensity that Celtic’s supporters produce when the floodlights are on and the stakes are at their highest."
Jamie Carragher (Liverpool Great, Oct 2013)
"Celtic is a club with a big tradition and a place any top player would want to end their career. How could I say I wouldn't want to play for those fans every week?
“Henrik was good enough to play for any team in Europe. But after playing at Celtic Park it is easy to understand why he chose to stay there for so long.
“No player would ever want to leave playing in the stadium for those fans. It’s a beautiful condition to play in.
“I have played in the biggest games in world football. But I have never experienced an atmosphere like I did at Celtic Park.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden & PSG player (2013)
“Celtic are an unbelievable club. The stadium on a match day has the best atmosphere in the world."
Ex-South African international & Champions League winner Benni McCarthy (2014)
"If this hymn [YNWA] is adored by the 'Scousers' of Liverpool, at Celtic Park in Glasgow they have a cappella version which is better... the eyes of Celtic fans go red with emotion."
Respected French Football magazine 'So Foot' 2 Mar 2014 (link), they ranked Celtic fans as 3rd best in the world, the only UK side in their top ten
"Were Celtic a bigger test [than the financially bloated Man City]? Yes. They might not have crazy money to spend but they're not easy to play. Money can buy you the best players but it can't buy you hunger and passion."
Dani Alves (Barcelona) before KO match in European Cup v Man City (they won 4-1 aggregate) 13 Mar 2014
“When you step out at Celtic Park, the atmosphere they create for their team is incredible. It doesn’t matter how many big games you have played in. Walking out into that atmosphere is always intense. I don’t think I have seen anything like the Celtic fans in all the stadiums I have played. What makes them the best, for me, is their support when they lose. It is easy to make noise when you win against Barcelona but in Spain we beat them 6-1 and most fans would have left the stadium. However, at the end, the fans were making noise like they had just won the Champions League, not like a team that had just conceded six."
Xavi (Barcelona player, 2014)
“Celtic fans worldwide. I was told as a kid that you were my enemy. I learned you’re my closest friends. 'No blacks, no dogs, no Irish'.”
Reformed ex-footballer, and football analyst Stan Collymore after receiving torrents of abuse on twitter from Sevco fans (Dec 2014)
“Every game I have played in Turkey stands out for passion created by the fans – but the best has been at Celtic Park."
Nemanja Vidic (Inter Milan & ex-Man U, Feb 2015)
“It’s an amazing ground, the fans really get behind the team."
Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan. Feb 2015)
“I have a Celtic jersey at home. The games against Celtic were special and I want to remember them. Celtic Park is a tough place to go to, it is never easy to get a result there. It is the best atmosphere in Europe and we all want to experience that again.”
Messi (Barcelona, Apr 2015)
“It would have been the ultimate dream for me to have sampled playing for Celtic on a European night.
“I hear some people talking about special atmospheres at stadiums but in Celtic’s case it is literally worth a goal of a start.
“Where did the Barcelona result come from a few years ago? It came from a side feeding off the passion of the support.
“The players need to go out and do the job but it’s that support and atmosphere which is incredible.
“I’m sure all of the teams at the draw on Monday will be hoping to pull Celtic – it’s a chance to experience one of the greatest atmospheres in the game.”
Peter Reid (ex-England, Man City & Everton 2015)
Quotes by Celts"Being a Celtic supporter is the only role that gives me any sense of communal identity, that gives me a feeling of being part of something bigger and more important than myself, that links me in any kind of deep emotional bond with other human beings. What are the alternatives? To be Scottish, or a Socialist, or an existentialist, or a nihilistic misanthrope, or an alienated atheist? Being a logical positivist is a source of some comfort, but only intellectually. In the final analysis being a Celtic supporter means that I am not and never will be totally alone, or beyond the understanding of similar beings."
David Bennie (Author of the superb autobiographical "Not Playing for Celtic" book)
"Celtic are not an easy club to be neutral or wishy-washy about. They inspire strong emotions and passionate commitment."
David Potter (historian on Celtic & highly respected author of football books)
"Celtic is a tale of adventure, success, failure, exasperation and hope that will never cease to unfold."
Kevin McCarra (jouranlist & Celtic fan, and author of Celtic books)
"Being a Celtic supporter is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile."
Fergus McCann (Spring 1997)
"Celtic Park, where a man is judged by his football alone."
"It has always been our ambition to represent all that is best in this great game ."
Robert Kelly (Celtic Chairman 1967)
"This Celtic football club is much more than a football club to a lot of people its a way of life."
Robert Kelly (ex-Chairman)
"Football without the fans is nothing."
"We don't want to live with history, to be compared with legends from the past. We must make new legends."
Jock Stein (After winning his first league title as Celtic manager in 1966)
"The best place to defend is in the opposition's penalty box."
Jock Stein and the Celtic playing philosophy
"Celtic is not just a club, it is a heritage."
"Celtic Football Club is the fans, without them there is no club."
"The Celtic supporters were out of this world. I've still to find supporters to better them."
"They are a superb set of fans and they love to see us battle for the cause."
"The Celtic supporters know their football."
"They are a fantastic club with amazing support."
"You could take all the derby matches in the world and put them together and they still wouldn't equal one-millionth of the Old Firm. There's nothing like it."
Paolo Di Canio
"Celtic is far more than a football club. The traditions, the history, the warmth - you have to experience it every day to really understand this."
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (June 08)
"Our stadium is a phenomenal place, and is difficult to put across just how much it means to play for this club, and what this club means to so many, and how well known it is in any part of the planet until you experience playing at the stadium. Celtic is a way of life and very important for the Scots and the Irish, wherever they have emigrated to, and wherever you go, they applaud you and support you.’’
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
"You don’t play for Celtic, you live for Celtic."
"What these players have to realise, is that when you put on the Celtic jersey you're not playing for a football team, you're playing for a community and a cause."
"That's was so special about them right there, Jim. Just right up there; that's what's so special about them. They're there and they're always there. And God bless every one of them."
Tommy Burns, May 1988 (being interviewed just after we'd won the league and cup double in our Centenary year)
"Spurs was a part of my life, they gave me a chance, an experience at a big club and I owe them for that. But I tell you what, I'd walk to Glasgow today for a chance to play for Celtic one more time."
Ramon Vega (2008)
"Yes my time at Celtic is over, but this is not a time to be sad I would be sad if I had never played for Celtic."
“My favourite time, my most special time, was at Celtic....They said I was a ‘gift from God’ but it was the opposite – Celtic was a gift from God to me...Celtic is unique."
Lubo Moravcik (2015)
"The atmosphere the fans at Celtic Park generate is something that is unique in football and it is a factor that, for me, makes it impossible to predict the outcome of the game. The noise is unbelievable and it's constant, from the moment the opposition players walk on the pitch they will not get a moment's peace until the final whistle. If you haven't experienced Celtic Park in full cry, it is very difficult to play your normal game. Players are used to playing in hostile grounds all over the world, but I can tell you that there is nothing to compare with Celtic Park."
“I don't care what games are on that night, in the world - the atmosphere at Celtic Park will be the best.”
Gordon Strachan on upcoming Celtic v Barcelona match (2012)
"What will remain consistent, though, is the Celtic support and with those guys behind you anything is possible.”
"Celtic fans are great when the team are up against it. There´s nothing like the Celtic support."
Liam Brady (2013)
“Everything we do, we look for value. You’ve just got to be strong to your principles and do the right thing.”
Peter Lawell, Celtic Chief Executive on Celtic's ethos (Sep 2013)
"I just wanted to play for Glasgow Celtic. Celtic is a special club.”
Roy Keane (2014)
"The 'myths' I’ve heard about Celtic Park on a European night are true."
John Guidetti (Feb 2015)
"If you are looking for passion then it’s here. There is a great support, the fans and the passion are very good."
Freddie Ljungberg (2013)
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