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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Celtic: The 10 teams Celtic fans love to see getting beat

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Celtic's main rivals are, and always will be, their city rivals Rangers. However, there are plenty of other teams across Europe who Celtic fans are quite happy about seeing getting beat. 

Here are the top 10 sides that Celtic fans love to see on the losing end, according to Squarefootball's Jim Barry.

1. Rangers

The famous Glasgow Rangers don’t share too much in common with their neighbours at Glasgow Celtic. Stereotypically Rangers fans are Unionists, Celtic fans are Nationalists. Rangers fans are loyal to the Queen, Celtic fans are anti-monarchist republicans. Rangers refused to employ Catholics for many decades; Celtic was founded in the meeting room of a Catholic Church. The irony is that in 2013 one of the few things that both sets of fans have in common is that most of them don’t believe in God. “Are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?”

2. Hearts

The establishment team in Edinburgh. Hibs have the honour of being Hearts' most fierce rival, but tension often brews up when Celtic meet Hearts. The most recent expression of this lack of love was when Neil Lennon was pounced on by a Hearts fan on the touchline during a league match two seasons ago. As Hearts go the same way as Rangers this fixture may not get too many outings in the coming seasons.

3. Hamburg

There is affection for St Pauli FC down Parkhead way. Most Celtic fans simply liked St Pauli and thought nothing more of it until Celtic was drawn with their arch-rival Hamburg in the Europa League four years ago. As German skinheads made an attempt to confront Celtic fans drinking in bars in Glasgow on the day of the game any minor affection that might have existed for Hamburg disappeared rapidly. This Europa League fixture left Celtic’s affection for St Pauli much stronger.

4. Chelsea

Celtic fans tend to dislike England, however very good relations exist between Celtic fans and a number of English clubs. Chelsea is not one of those clubs. Pre- season friendlies are off the cards for a while as Celtic fans seem to encourage a BNP element to get out and support Chelsea at these games. Celtic fans don’t necessarily cover themselves in glory either when confronted by the Stamford Bridge Lions.

5. Linfield

Celtic doesn’t tend to play Linfield FC from Belfast too often. I’m not sure what would happen if they were to play, but it’s probably not an experiment worth exploring. See the description of Rangers to get an idea of where Celtic and Linfield stand.

6. Millwall

Millwall are world famous for enjoying nothing more than a good ruck. It can be at a train station, in a pub, on a beach, or in Wembley Stadium in front of tens of millions of people across the world. While relations are not great between Millwall and Celtic there is little for Celtic fans to worry about, Millwall fans are just as content kicking lumps out of other Millwall fans. No pre-season “friendlies” scheduled for 2013!

7. Real Madrid

Real Madrid are the Rangers on steroids. They are the Royal club, the Imperial club, they claim to have high standards, they try to buy every trophy in the game. Purely due to sociological similarities between Celtic FC and Barcelona FC there is not too much love at Parkhead for Real. It is probably fair to say that Celtic respect the style and history of Di Stefano, Ronaldo, Raul et al, but there is more love for the Ronaldihno, Messi and Maradona version in Catalonia.

8. Feyenoord

Celtic have traditionally aligned themselves with Ajax in the Dutch league. Both teams rarely play one another, but have strong anti-fascist allegiances. Feyenoord are Ajax’s arch-rival, which doesn’t help, but to make matters worse Feyenoord beat Celtic in the final of the 1970 European Cup. When Celtic won the cup in 1967 it was considered a surprise, but equally it was a surprise when Feyenoord beat Celtic in the 1970 and this leaves a bitter taste to this very day for many Celtic supporters.

9. Rapid Vienna

This rivalry goes back to 1984 when both teams engaged in a thuggish two-legged affair that Celtic just about won on aggregate. However, the result of the tie was overturned when the Rapid Vienna goalkeeper left the field covered in bandages. The goalkeeper suffered these very serious injuries as a result of a bottle landing about 20 feet away from him that had been thrown from the crowd. The game had to be replayed and of course Celtic lost. It was all very embarrassing for both clubs and the mutual dislike endures.

10. Rangers U-17s

Let’s be honest, this top 10 list could include everything from the Rangers Ladies to their five-a-side masters team and even their Under 8s if such a team exists. The Glasgow Cup Final was the only example in 2013 that reminded us of the serious problems that still exist for both clubs when the Gers re-emerge in the top flight. The rivalry between both clubs in reality is immensely bigger than any imagined ill-will for clubs like Hearts and Chelsea.

Article by Jim Barry

Calling all Celtic fans: Do you agree with Jim's list? Are there any other teams out there that you love to see getting beat? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.


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Colin Illingworth



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