Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football

Barcelona v Celtic: Hoops not fearful of Barca insists Brendan Rodgers

Published 13/09/2016

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez gestures after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez gestures after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Friends reunited: Former Liverpool players Kolo Toure of Celtic and Luis Suarez of Barcelona embrace after the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez shoots to score a goal beside Celtic's Irish defender Eoghan O'Connell (L) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Luis Suarez reacts during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebretes scoring his sides sixth goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Luis Suarez of Barcelona celebretes scoring his sides sixth goal with team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (C) is congratulated by Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar (R) and Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (L) controls the ball prior to scoring a goal beside Celtic's Irish defender Eoghan O'Connell (L) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar walks to shoot a corner kick during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi walks after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's French forward Moussa Dembele (top) vies with Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (R) during their Champions League football match between FC Barcelona and Celtic CF at the Camp Nou in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (up) celebrates a goal with teammate Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (L) is congratuled by teammates after stopping a penalty during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's defender Gerard Pique (R) and other teammates congratulate Barcelona's German goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (2nd L) after stopping a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Celtic FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona supporters wave Estelada or Catalan pro-independence flags distributed by separatists groups ahead of the Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, walks past his teammates Neymar, center, and Luis Suarez after scoring his side's first goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, celebrates with Barcelona's Neymar after scoring the opening goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, celebrates with Barcelona's Neymar after scoring the opening goal during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, takes on Celtic's Erik Sviatchenko during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Celtic's Moussa Dembele, top, jumps above Barcelona's Gerard Pique during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Celtic's Scott Brown back heads the ball during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic, left, and Celtic's Moussa Dembele vie for the ball during a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Celtic's players warm up before their Champions League football match against FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 13, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters enjoy the pre match atmosphere prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters enjoy the pre match atmosphere prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters arrive prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters arrive prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Supporters arrive prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: A general view as Celtic players walk on the pitch prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Emilio Izaguirre (L) and Jozo Simunovic of Celtic walk on the pitch prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: A general view prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 13: A dog and his handler perform a search prior to the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at Camp Nou on September 13, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic will not be fearful of taking on Barcelona.

Ahead of his side's Champions League group-stage opener at the Nou Camp, the Northern Irishman waxed lyrical about the talent at Barca, praising in particular Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, whom he worked with at Liverpool.

However, Rodgers insists his players will be confident of causing an upset against the Spanish giants on Tuesday night.

"We won't be fearful," he said

"As a manager, in every game you go into you have to believe you can get a positive result.

"We respect that this is arguably the best team in the world with a front three that is maybe one of the best of all time.

"I know from working with Luis Suarez that he used to occupy a back four on his own.

"Put Neymar and Messi into that and it's a very difficult task. We're obviously in the early stages of working together but what I've seen in our team since I've worked with them is that they have a real hunger and desire to do very well in every training session and every game.

"So we respect this will be a really difficult game on the back of a really tough game with a great result at the weekend, but these are the types of games we want to be involved in.

"We have to try to come up with a plan that can get us a positive result."

While Celtic go into the game on the back of a 5-1 win over Rangers, Barcelona slipped to a shock 2-1 home defeat at the weekend to newly-promoted Deportivo Alaves in La Liga.

Read more

Rodgers believes that such a shock result could simply serve to fire up Barca.

He said: "It can be positive (for Celtic) but also sometimes you can waken up a team when it has a result like that.

"Alaves did very well in the game, they defended well and with the possession they had, they created and scored two good goals.

"Luis Enrique made a number of changes to the team and every manager picks a team to get a result so he and the players will be disappointed, so it can be positive but it can also work the other way.

"When you work with big players, they always want to go out in the next game and have a good result and performance."

Good times: Luis Suarez hailed the methods of his former boss Brendan Rodgers after nearly leading the Reds to the title
Good times: Luis Suarez hailed the methods of his former boss Brendan Rodgers after nearly leading the Reds to the title
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 30: Luis Suarez of Barcelona during the International Champions Cup series match between Barcelona and Celtic at Aviva Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 30: Luis Suarez of Barcelona during the International Champions Cup series match between Barcelona and Celtic at Aviva Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 30: Lionel Messi (R) and Luis Suarez (L) of Barcelona before the International Champions Cup series match between Barcelona and Celtic at Aviva Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 30: Lionel Messi (R) and Luis Suarez (L) of Barcelona before the International Champions Cup series match between Barcelona and Celtic at Aviva Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Celtic's Moussa Dembele (centre) is celebrates with his team mates after scoring the first goal of the game during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park. Pic Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Celtic's Moussa Dembele (centre) is celebrates with his team mates after scoring the first goal of the game during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park. Pic Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Ranger's Niko Kranjcar (left) and Celtic's Scott Brown (right) battle for the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Celtic and Rangers teams enter the field before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) shake hands before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Pic Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Scott Brown of Celtic arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Leigh Griffiths of Celtic signs autographs inside Celtic Stadium before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Kenny Miller of Rangers arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Joey Barton of Rangers arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic Fans arrive early before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic Fans arrive early before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Rod Stewart arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic Fans arrive early before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Mark Warburton Manager of Rangers arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph