Celtic return to Seville after eighteen long years
That was the time.
Henrik Larsson, Stiliyan Petrov, Bobo Balde and and Martin O’Neill.
The Spanish heat, the Cruzcampo lager, a green and white armada and, above all, a UEFA Cup final.
Celtic’s last continental final was over eighteen years ago, but to many it seems a lot less than that. Playing Porto in Seville, the defeat hurts; but Celtic fans didn’t take the loss badly – in fact, it was arguably the last thing they cared about.
100,000 Celtic fans basking in the heat of the night reflecting on their mini breakaway in May was enough to cushion the blow – after all, they faced a side with future Premier League winners Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho and Deco, run by none other than José Mourinho.
And, after today’s Europa League draw, it is hoped that Celtic fans will be able to recreate this legendary as they faced Real Betis in the group stage – with the green team. and white from the “Heliopolis” region of Seville, in the Andalusian city.
Allowed, the 3-2 defeat against Porto took place at the Olympic Stadium in Seville, but with this pitch to quench the nostalgic thirst, in addition to ticking a new pitch in the breathtaking Estadio Benito Villamarin of Betis – which holds 60,720, barely 309 seats more than Heaven – it has all the makings of a classic Sevilla comeback for Celtic hardcore.
Alongside Celtic in the group stage are Bayer Leverkusen and Ferencvaros – on whom Ange Postecoglou will seek revenge after their embarrassing loss to the Hungarian side last season.