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The Footie File

By David McBride

Celtic Beats Barca!

© Polish Turnstile  

How Do You Like Them Apples?!

I am writing this only seconds after the final whistle has blown, so forgive me if in the coming days this article may appear to be more hyperbole than analysis.  But I humbly ask you the reader to give me this day to gush, for I have been watching Celtic for decades and today is the greatest day, and the greatest victory, I have ever watched the Bhoys win!  Could there possibly be a better way to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary?

It was an impossible dream.  Despite how well Celtic played just a couple of weeks ago at the Camp Nou when, in the end, they were left heartbroken, none of us really thought they could win.  Perhaps a draw, but not a win.  Even after Victor Wanyama hit the back of the net off a corner kick in the first half I defy you to find anyone who truly felt in their heart that one goal would be enough to see off this historically good opponent.

Then the 18 year old Tony Watt sent Celtic Park into a full-blown frenzy when he broke away on a counter attack in the 83rd minute and put the Bhoys up by two goals.  But this is Barca, and Lionel Messi made sure the game went back on a knife’s edge with a strike in the 90th minute.  Celtic only had to defend their goal for three minutes.  But it wasn’t until the final whistle blew that any one in that grand football ground would exhale.  Anxiety turned to jubilation, and Goliath was felled.

This is why I love this incredible sport.  The closing minutes of that game was the longest, most terrifying and exhilarating few minutes I have seen in a football match in my 3-plus decades of watching the Beautiful Game.  The Hoops were clutching to victory with every fiber of their being, doing everything in their power to keep the equalizer out of the goal while each of the over 60,000 supporters gave voice, heart and soul to keep their Bhoys from tiring and give them the energy needed to hold off the mighty Barcelona.  I swear I could hear them all singing their lungs out, even from here on the other side of the Atlantic.

This is a match that no one, not the players on the field, supporters in the stands or those of us across the world screaming at our televisions will ever forget.  Today, one day after the 125th anniversary of Celtic Football Club was celebrated, will always be remembered as the day the Bhoys beat the best team in the world!  It may not be Lisbon, but its the Lisbon for a new generation of Celtic supporters.



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