Brendan Rodgers did something amazing with the Celtic side last summer.
The former Reds boss built a talented ‘invincibles’ team that broke records. However, while this was much celebrated on the home front, it was not much in the international scene.
After the 7-0 white wash by Barcelona by the trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr., the side picked themselves up against Premier League team Manchester City – A City side coached by Pep Guardiola that had won its first ten matches – playing a 3-3 result. Scotland knew no peace as fans ran riot. The follow up results against Monchen and City sustained the momentum even though they later exited the competition.
Many labelled the achievements as one of the greatest in the history of the Scottish football, forgetting that the same club had defeated Inter Milan, Rangers had humbled Russian giants Dynamo Moscow aside the exploits of Aberdeen and Dundee United in Europe.
While Rodgers did wonderful with the team, a true test of the ‘invincibles’ status is excelling in Europe in the forthcoming season while holding the forte at home. City competed fiercely against City, an English top flight giant. This means if they make it to the Premier League, a mid-table to upper side finish is expected.
The horrific loss of Rangers in Luxembourg taints the overall impression of Scottish football on the continent. With the rise in profile of Scottish football, it is important for other teams to look at making real progress in Europe. Things would have to be done differently for this to happen.