“When you hear that anthem, you lose your mind,” Giakoumakis relishing his Champions League Return | OneFootball

“When you hear that anthem, you lose your mind,” Giakoumakis relishing his Champions League Return

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The Celtic Star

As the Celtic players and staff emerged to lift the League Trophy on Saturday the music of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the voices of the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields Chorus blasted out “Die Meister! Die Besten! Les grandes équipes! The champions!”

In what was an emotional day all round, as the season past was celebrated and the present success it brought fully acknowledged, that moment also allowed us all to look into the future for just a moment – and it was beautiful.

Because in a few short months Celtic will once again be in the Champions League, where a club of our stature belongs, and we’ll show Tony Britten’s take on Handel’s Zadok the Priest the respect it deserves by entirely drowning it entirely out as the teams line-up – well you can’t mess with tradition!

And one man who is already looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere created by 60,000 inside Celtic Park when the Hoops go toe to toe with Europe’s elite once more is Giorgos Giakoumakis.

The Greek striker came off the bench to grab a brace on Saturday, as the Hoops saw out the season in true, We Never Stop style. Quite fitting then that even when 5-0 up Celtic pushed all the way to the final whistle and added a sixth to put the tin lid in on a relentless season of incredible high intensity football. And now Giakoumakis is looking forward to taking that style -there will be no pragmatism folks – into the Champions League next season.

IMAGO / PA Images. Celtic v Motherwell – Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates scoring his sides fifth goal during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Saturday May 14, 2022. Photo Jane Barlow

Giakoumakis as reported in Glasgow Times has already experienced Champions League football when with AEK Athens, when his Greek club contested a group containing Bayern Munich, Ajax and Benfica and witnessed the Athens club’s supporters – a group with quite the reputation for creating a hostile atmosphere for visiting clubs – creating a hell of an atmosphere, and Scotland’s joint top scorer believes the Celtic support will surpass even that.

“It’s the top competition a player can participate in. Everyone wants to compete at that level. I love it. I managed to play a couple of games in the Champions League with AEK Athens and it was a special experience. When you hear that anthem, you lose your mind. It’s amazing.

“The atmosphere in Athens when we played Ajax was incredible. The AEK fans are insane and the atmosphere they create is incredible.

“But I can’t even imagine what Celtic Park will be like with these fans. I think it will be crazy. The experiences we have had this season cannot be compared with anywhere. It’s not even close.

“Playing in the Champions League is something you dream of from being a child. I played it already for a great team like Athens, but here it is going to be special.”

It will be a momentous occasion when Champions League football return to Celtic Park, and if we drew a group similar to what AEK contested it would be all the more mouth-watering.

But whoever Celtic face, to a man this Celtic team will soon realise, even if they’ve been impressed by the atmosphere created by the Celtic support home and away this season, they won’t have heard anything quite like the moment the team hears that Champions League Anthem blare out, before the noise of the crowd drowns it out entirely, and announces to European football we are back where we belong!

Niall J

READ THIS…Champions League winner tells it like it is. False equivalence and denying themselves through continuity myth

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