It’s been 11 years since a fantastic Celtic side reached the old ‘UEFA Cup Final’. Throw on those rose tinted glasses it’s about to get reminiscent in here.
Celtic take on Dinamo Zagreb this evening in what is now called the Europa league. But in the not to distant past it went by a far cooler name; ‘The UEFA Cup’. Yes it was the Champions League’s poor cousin. But it sounded good. Skip forward 11 years and it’s now called the ‘Europa league’. Who would want to win that?!
Funnily enough, in the not to distance past Celtic actually had a good team too. In 2003 they came heartbreakingly close to winning the UEFA Cup. They faced FC Porto at the Stadio Olimpico de Sevilla in Spain. This was a Porto team on the rise. Hnourable mentions go the victorious manager on the day. A little known Portuguese man by the name of Jose Mourinho.
He would lead a fantastic Porto side featuring Carvalho, Ferreira, Maniche and Deco to victory in 2003. A year later he would claim the Champions League, be appointed Chelsea boss and the rest as they say, is history.
Celtic were managed by Martin O’Neill back when their rivals Rangers were a good side. O’Neill’s Celtic beat notable opposition on the way to the Final. They defeated two English teams; Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool as well as a decent Stuttgart team. But, without further adieu let’s take a look at that mouth watering Celtic team.
Celtic 2003 UEFA Cup Fianal Starting XI
Fast forward to tonight and the Scottish football scene is a different beast. Yes Celtic are still top but when you compare their current XI to their previous team it makes you wonder. Just where would this current team have placed in the SPL back in 2003?
Celtic team expected to face Dinamo Zagreb tonight in Europa League
If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out ‘The Decimation of Borussia Dortmund: CL Final XI vs Current XI’
Sean Curtin, Pundit Arena