Celtic captain Callum McGregor admits he would love to play against reigning champions Real Madrid in the Champions League this season.
The group stage draw will take place next Thursday, with the Hoops back alongside the continent’s elite clubs for the first time since 2017 after being knocked out in the qualifying rounds in recent years.
“We’re really looking forward to the Champions League,” McGregor said. “The play-offs are coming to an end and the draw will take place after that. We are focused on league business – here and now – but in the back of our minds we know the Champions League is coming quite quickly. .
“We’ve played against a number of great teams, but the one most Celtic fans would probably like is Real Madrid. I haven’t played against them yet, but we know whoever we get drawn against will be a top team. and a big challenge for us.
McGregor believes Celtic have benefited from not having to play the early-season qualifying rounds this summer due to Scotland’s improved coefficient.
“The start of the season was certainly slower, but it also gave us time to train and prepare well for the games we played,” said the midfielder. “You can see from the start that we’ve had the boys working hard, they look fit and the team looks pretty cohesive.”
McGregor was speaking yesterday after it was announced the club were publishing a book called The Making of a Celtic Captain – the Callum McGregor Story which will relive the skipper’s journey from his earliest years at Parkhead.
The 29-year-old, who has been with the club since he was a child in 2001, said: “I liked doing it.” It forces you to look back and remember the things you did on your journey.
“There are a lot of great moments, but lifting the league trophy as captain last season is probably the most remarkable.”
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