Barcelona Legend Xavi Claims Celtic Are Too Big For Champions League Qualifiers

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 20, 2017

Brendan Rodgers' side, who were seeded in Monday's (19 June) draw, will enter the competition at the second qualifying round where they will meet the Northern Irish champions or San Marino's SP La Fiorita.

Security will be a major issue if Linfield earn the right to host Celtic for a July 11 Champions League qualifying encounter at Windsor Park.

New Celtic winger Jonny Hayes is looking forward to his club's ties but does not believe the extra spice involved in a potential showdown with Linfield will worry the Hoops too much.

"Our preference is to play the home leg first, for financial reasons that's obviously the best thing for us", said Linfield chairman Roy McGivern.

"I don't think that Celtic should be a club that has to qualify for the Champions League".

A further complication for the clubs, UEFA and local police is the potential date of the first leg, should Linfield progress.

Healy played for Rangers when they won the Scottish title in 2010-11 under Walter Smith.

In his first competitive game in charge of the Parkhead team, Rodgers saw his players lose 1-0 to Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, the smallest club ever to play Celtic in Europe.

"Before that, we play La Fiorita at home next Wednesday and away the following week and that is the priority now".

"Financially for Linfield it would be a glamour tie to get Celtic".

"If they want to go up a level in the Champions League they must also look to add some quality".

"If you are playing Celtic these days you're up against it. That is just being realistic".

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