Celtic winger Jota has spoken about his love of the Champions League and his ambitions for the competition as the Scottish champions enter a crucial period of the season. The Portuguese winger was man of the match in the draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw and ahead of the remaining four group stage matches.
Speaking to The Celtic View, Jota spoke about the quality on display in Europe’s top competition; however, he also revealed personal pride in hearing the anthem after growing up watching the Champions League as a child.
“First of all, what I can say about the Champions League is that it’s very fast, the teams play very fast football.
“It will be good to be back and our idea of the game is already fast and intense, so we will be good on that aspect. Then it’s all about quality because the best teams and the best clubs will be there and there’s no not many errors.
“The best teams are the ones that can score the most with the fewest opportunities, so we have to be clinical and we have to enjoy every game because playing the Champions League is something every kid dreams of.
“I dreamed of it when I was young and now I will have it again and I’m so excited to play in front of these fans and for this shirt.
“I have to say I was very emotional when I first stepped onto the pitch and listened to the Champions League anthem when I made my debut, it was a very emotional moment. for me and my family.
“I’ve never missed a Champions League weekday since I was a kid so it’s extremely proud for me and my family and I just want to keep delivering and having these amazing experiences because we only know not what tomorrow has in store for us.”
The player’s statement that he wants to play for ‘these fans and this shirt’ will be music to many supporters. Jota has been excellent since joining the club, initially on loan from Benfica. The player was exceptional last season with 14 goals and 14 assists. Ange cleared a permanent move, as if there was any doubt, and the player returned after the £6.5m deal was completed.
This season again, Jota has been excellent. Goals against Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Rangers stand out with a performance at Dundee United as Celtic went wild. He hopes the return to domestic duty on Saturday will see Celtic play, despite the defeat at St Mirren.