Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football European

Celtic's Kieran Tierney relishing chance to take on Barcelona in Champions League

Published 25/08/2016

Celtic fans cheer before the the Champions League qualifying playoffs second leg soccer match in against Hapoel in Beersheba, Israel, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Celtic fans cheer before the the Champions League qualifying playoffs second leg soccer match in against Hapoel in Beersheba, Israel, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Celtic's Saidy Janko, left, and Hapoel BeerSheva's Ofir Davidzada fight for the ball during the Champions League qualifying playoffs second leg soccer match in Beersheba, Israel,Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Hapoel Beer Sheva fans wave Israeli flags before the UEFA Champions League group stages play-off football match between Celtic and Hapoel Beer Sheva at the Turner Stadium in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva on August 23, 2016. The game is being played in the most southerly stadium in European competition history, UEFA confirmed. / AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGENGIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's Scott Sinclair (back) dribbles the ball as Hapoel's John Ogu defends during the UEFA Champions League group stages play-off football match between Celtic and Hapoel Beer Sheva at the Turner Stadium in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva on August 23, 2016. The game is being played in the most southerly stadium in European competition history, UEFA confirmed. / AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGENGIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's Callum McGregor, left, and Hapoel BeerSheva's Shir Tzedek fight for the ball during the Champions League qualifying playoffs second leg soccer match in Beersheba, Israel,Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Hapoel's Ben Bitton (L) tries to tackle Celtic's Scott Sinclair (C) during the UEFA Champions League group stages play-off football match between Celtic and Hapoel Beer Sheva at the Turner Stadium in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva on August 23, 2016. The game is being played in the most southerly stadium in European competition history, UEFA confirmed. / AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGENGIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Hapoel Beer Sheva fans wave Israeli flags before the UEFA Champions League group stages play-off football match between Celtic and Hapoel Beer Sheva at the Turner Stadium in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva on August 23, 2016. The game is being played in the most southerly stadium in European competition history, UEFA confirmed. / AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGENGIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Hapoel Beer Sheva's Miguel Vitor, left, and Celtic's Leigh Griffiths fight for the ball during the Champions League qualifying playoffs second leg soccer match in Beersheba, Israel,Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Kieran Tierney believes Celtic will face "three great teams" in the Champions League, but insists the Hoops are not there to make up the numbers.

The 19-year-old defender was at Celtic Park for the group stage draw and watched the Scottish champions drawn in Group C alongside Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Kieran Tierney during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Kieran Tierney during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA
Celtic's Scott Brown celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic's Scott Sinclair (right) has a shot on goal ahead of Hapoel Be'er Sheva goalkeeper David Goresh (right) during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Kieran Tierney during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PA
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammate Scott Brown during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic's Tom Rogic (right) celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
A fan wears a Palestinian flag outside the stadium before the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic's Tom Rogic (right) celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic fans outside the stadium before the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
A Celtic mural during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic Fans celebrate manager Brendan Rodgers during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
File photo dated 23-07-2016 of Celtic's Leigh Griffiths PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. Leigh Griffiths insists Celtic have learned their lesson from previous Champions League heartbreaks. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read Jane Barlow/PA Wire.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the UEFA Champions League qualifying play-off, first leg match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday August 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Celtic qualified for first time in three seasons with a 5-4 aggregate win over Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva and their last game in European football's elite club competition ended in a 6-1 defeat in the Nou Camp.

Tierney, who missed the 3-1 loss to the Catalan giants in the International Champions Cup match in Dublin at the end of July, has been a long-time admirer of Barca, but is determined to help Brendan Rodgers' side get into the knock-out stages.

The Scotland international said: "It is a great draw, three great teams. That is why you are in the Champions League, to play the best.

"People asked me who I wanted, but I really didn't mind because you are going to get three great teams and six great games.

"I have always thought that (Barca are the best team in world) with Lionel Messi and players like that.

"Growing up, it was brilliant to watch them and now hopefully I can play against them.

"I think it is difficult in any group. This is the best of the best.

"It is the biggest competition and we are delighted to be there, but we are not just there to make up the numbers.

Celtic 2-1 Barcelona: Celtic's Victor Wanyama celebrates scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Celtic 2-1 Barcelona: Celtic's Victor Wanyama celebrates scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Neil Lennon coach of Celtic during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Celtic's Neil Lennon celebrates defeating Barcelona following the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Georgios Samaras of Celtic tackles Marc Barta of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Charlie Mulgrew and Victor Wanyama of Celtic challenge Andres Iniesta of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster denys Barcelona player Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Lionel Messi of Barcelona in action during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic fans cheer during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Celtic's Adam Matthews and Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) in action during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Victor Wanyama of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic players surround Victor Wanyama of Celtic after he scored the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic Manager Neil Lennon (c) reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster denys Barcelona player Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Georgios Samaras of Celtic tackles Javier Mascherano of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Fraser Foster of Celtic celebrates at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Adam Mathews of Celtic tackles Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Miku of Celtic competes for the ball with Marc Barta and Alex Song of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Neil Lennon coach of Celtic reacts at the end of during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Miku of Celtic tackles Javier Mascherano of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic fans wave their scarves during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic Manager Neil Lennon (c) reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Barcelona player Lionel Messi in action during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic Manager Neil Lennon reacts before the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Barcelona player Lionel Messi (c) is crowded out by Celtic players during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster denys Barcelona player Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster (l) celebrates with manager Neil Lennon after the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic player Tony Watt (l) scores the second goal watched by Barcelona player Javier Mascherano during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic player Tony Watt (l) scores the second goal watched by Barcelona player Javier Mascherano during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Celtic players surround Victor Wanyama of Celtic after he scored the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Charlie Mulgrew and Mikael Lustig of Celtic challenge Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: David Villa of Barcelona reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Adam Mathews of Celtic tracks Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Adam Mathews of Celtic tackles Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Barcelona's captain Xavi Hernandez , right, vies for the ball with Celtic's Joe Ledley, left, during their Champions League Group G soccer match at Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Celtic's Victor Wanyama and Barcelona's Andres Iniesta (right) in action during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Celtic's Kelvin Wilson and Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas (centre) in action during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Celtic's Fraser Forster celebrates during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Gordon Strachan during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Rod Stewart in the stands during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Rod Stewart in the stands during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow

"It is going to be very, very tough. Everyone knows that, but we have to stay positive, do our work on the training field and you never know what can happen."

Tierney came through the Parkhead youth system and is well known for being a ball boy on the night four years ago - November 7, 2012 - when Tony Watt scored what was ultimately the winner in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Barcelona.

Read more

Neil Lennon's finest hour as Celtic stun Barcelona in Champions League  

Asked about his memories of that game, he said: "I remember sitting in the corner with a ball in my hand, just looking at the ball and thinking, 'This is brilliant', and four years later I am dying to play in a game like that.

"I missed out on that game in Ireland, so it will be a first for me and I am really looking forward to it.

"Qualifying is hard part, we got through six games and we did well to get through, so it is now about focusing on the group."

"It could've been easier" said Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"There's some real glamour ties in there - some really great nights ahead at Celtic Park.

"I don't think they will be relishing coming to us with the supporters, the atmosphere, the occasion we put on there.

"It couldn't be any more difficult but Brendan has got off to a great start. It has been a remarkable first couple of months for him.

"We will attempt to get one more player in before next Wednesday's (transfer) deadline."

Patrick Roberts is on loan at Celtic from Manchester City but the English club's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, appeared relaxed about the prospect of the winger facing the Blues

He told City's official website: "Yes, why not? Our target is to make him a better play and play in games such as this so we will see."

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