Celtic have been drawn in Champions League group F alongside holders Real Madrid, as well as RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk.
I must admit, I am absolutely delighted with the draw.
And looking on Twitter, it seems that most Celtic fans are in agreement.
As people are saying, the group is a good mix. You have the glamour tie against Real Madrid, and you have RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk, two teams that we have beaten in the past in Europe and that we should at least on paper, be evenly matched with.
The Real Madrid tie is the big one Celtic supporters have been dreaming of getting for a long time now, and our players have too, and now we finally have it.
It is going to be incredible watching the likes of Kroos, Modric and Benzema at Celtic Park, and to see our own stars like Kyogo, Hatate and Jota show their magic in the Bernabeu on the biggest stage.
These two games as supporters, that we will just have to sit back and enjoy and if we take anything from those two games, it will be a huge bonus.
Of course, the fixtures could play a big part in our chances.
For example, if Real Madrid have already qualified and we play them at Celtic Park on matchday 6, they could well play a weakened side.
Even if we get them early on, perhaps they won’t be as focused? They have had some dodgy results in the group stages over the years, with FC Sheriff famously beating Real at the Bernabeu on matchday 2 last season. It proves that they can underestimate teams.
We saw RB Leipzig against Rangers in the Europa League semi-finals last season, and we all saw they weren’t a great side. They collapsed at Ibrox, and there is a big chance they will do the same under an even more intense atmosphere at Celtic Park.
Their own stadium is not an intimidating place to go, and with how well we did away to Betis, Leverkusen and Ferencvaros last season, albeit ultimately losing to the Spanish and Germans, but we gave a very good account of ourselves and scored three goals in each game, so there’s no reason not to think we can at least get a draw over there.
And we of course have history with Shakhtar Donetsk, historically a very tricky opponent full of silky Brazilian players, we normally lose in Ukraine and beat them at Celtic Park.
But the interesting thing is, due to the war, Shakhtar have to play their home matches in Poland at Legia Warsaw’s home ground, which of course Celtic have just played in during Artur Boruc’s testimonial in pre-season, and there will likely be little Shakhtar fans there due to Legia fans getting priority tickets for the matches there, and we don’t have to worry about going to freezing Ukraine on autumn/winter time like we’ve done in the past.
I am speaking purely from a Celtic supporter’s point of view of course, and I don’t doubt that Leipzig and Shakhtar will also fancy their own chances against us and against each other, but for me, this draw is the best Celtic could have hoped for.
Progression to the last 16 should be the aim, and you can bet Ange Postecoglou will be saying the exact same thing to his players.