Memorable Celtic Champions League nights as Hoops prepare for Madrid

Top stars including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have tasted defeat at Celtic Park in Champions League action.

Memorable Champions League nights at Celtic Park as Hoops prepare for Real Madrid SNS Group

Celtic are preparing to host European champions Real Madrid in Glasgow as the Hoops return to the top table for the first time in five years.

Ange Postecoglou’s men have had a perfect start to the season with seven wins out of seven including 18 points from six Premiership games that puts them five ahead of second placed Rangers.

The champions brushed their rivals aside on Saturday with a 4-0 win in Parkhead with a performance that will give some hope of getting something against the Spanish giants on Tuesday night.

Under Jock Stein the great Celtic sides of the 1960s and 70s made their name in the tournament under the old European Cup format.

And since the 1967 champions and 1970 finalist made their first appearance in the reformed Champions League format under Martin O’Neill in the 2001/02 season they have claimed some memorable scalps along the way.

We take a look back at five of their most famous results when big names including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Del Piero all tasted defeat in the east end of Glasgow.

Celtic 2-1 Barcelona – 2012

Tony Watt scored the vital second goal in famous night at Celtic Park.SNS Group

When Barcelona travelled to Glasgow in 2012 they were widely considered as one of the greatest club sides ever to play the game and were again one of the favourites to take home the trophy they had won twice in the previous five years.

Spain had lifted their third consecutive major tournament the previous summer with a nucleus of the Barca team that would make their way to Celtic Park including Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Pedro and David Villa.

On top of that the Catalan giants had a certain Argentine star by the name of Lionel Messi who was just coming to the end of a record-breaking calendar year of 91 goals in 12 months so it’s fair to say that Neil Lennon’s Celtic side went into the game as massive underdogs.

But goals from Victor Wanyama and an 18-year-old Tony Watt put the Hoops 2-0 up before Messi grabbed a late consolation for Barca in what was Celtic’s 125th anniversary.

Both teams reached the last 16 when Celtic lost to Italian side Juventus to end another European adventure.

Celtic 1-0 Manchester United 2006

Sir Alex Ferguson was back in Glasgow with his all-conquering Manchester United side that read like a list of all stars with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Edwin Van Der Sar, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.

But a Shunsuke Nakamura free-kick gave Gordon Strachan’s side a 1-0 victory, thanks also to a late penalty save by Artur Boruc as the Hoops qualified through the groups for the first time.

They played AC Milan in the last-16 and lost 1-0 in extra-time at the San Siro to the eventual winners following consecutive 0-0 draws in Glasgow and Milan.

Celtic 2-1 AC Milan 2007

Scott McDonald scored a late winner against the European champions. SNS Group

On Tuesday Carlo Ancelotti will bring the European champions to Celtic Park and it was the exact same story back in 2007 when AC Milan came to Glasgow as reigning champions with the Italian boss in charge.

Stephen McManus put the hosts 1-0 in a rainy night in Parkhead before a goal from Balon D’or winning Kaka looked to have earned Milan a point.

But in injury time Scott McDonald was the first to react when Souza Dida save a Gary Caldwell shot and the Australian striker put it in the net to make it 2-1 and record another famous victory over the biggest of hitters.

Strachan again guided his team to the last-16 for the second season in a row.

They lost 4-2 on aggregate to Barcelona in the knockout stages following a 3-2 defeat at Celtic Park and 1-0 at the Nou Camp.

Celtic 4-3 Juventus 2001

Sutton scored a volley as Celtic put four past the Italian champions. SNS Group

Fresh off a domestic treble in 2001 Martin O’Neill took Celtic into the group stages of the Champions League for the first time since the tournament was rebranded with a playoff win over Ajax.

And going into the last game they still had a chance to qualify if they beat Italian giants Juventus and results elsewhere went their way.

Italy legend Alesandro Del Piero opened the scoring from a free-kick but Celtic fought back with goals from Larsson, Valgaeren and a double from Chris Sutton to earn all three points as France World Cup winning striker David Trezeguet also scored a brace in an entertaining 4-3 win for the Hoops.

However a win for Porto over Rosenborg meant the Scottish champions would have to be content with a UEFA Cup place and they would eventually lose on penalties to Valencia despite a 1-0 win at Celtic Park.

Celtic 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk 2007

Celtic Park erupted following Donati's late winner to all but seal last-16 qualification.SNS Group

Celtic sealed last-16 qualification for the second consecutive season in the most dramatic of fashions when they left it to the last kick of the game to claim victory over the Ukrainian side.

Despite not being as big a name as some of the other sides Celtic have conquered the nature of the win and what it meant means it is a worthy inclusion on the list.

Brazillian star Brandao put Donetsk 1-0 up within the opening five minutes but Jiri Jarosik brought the teams level at the start of the second half.

And it was Italian midfielder Massimo Donati who claimed the vital goal in what was the most memorable moment of his Hoops career.

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