Champions League: Celtic stuns Barcelona and Rod Stewart cries

November 8, 2012

Happy 125th anniversary, Celts. (Russell Cheyne / Reuters)

For the most passionate fans of the beautiful game, an inspiring victory or a crushing defeat can turn on the waterworks.

After Celtic’s stunning 2-1 Champions League win against Barcelona on Wednesday in Glasgow, longtime supporter and singer Rod Stewart could not contain his joy.

The Hoops led Barcelona 1-0 in their previous group match at Camp Nou but Jordi Alba’s stoppage time goal helped the hosts pull out a 2-1 victory.

One day after celebrating the club’s 125th anniversary, Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster was stellar and Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt provided the offense for a result that moved the Scottish side one step closer to advancing to the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2007-08.

Barcelona is still atop the group, but Celtic is now just two points back, and for the 60,000 fans in attendance, Wednesday’s result was the perfect birthday present.

“As a manager, I don’t know if I will top this,” Celtic manager Neil Lennon said (via the Guardian). “I hope I do, because I am still young and am still learning. But this is up there with anything I have achieved, not just in my football career but in my life.”

Judging by Stewart’s reaction, this ranked right up there with the release of “Maggie May.”

As Dirty Tackle’s Brooks Peck notes:

The 67-year-old singer is such a big fan of Celtic that he even mentioned them in his 1977 song “You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” along with Manchester United, one of his other favorites. “You’re Celtic, United, but baby I’ve decided,” the song goes. “You’re the best team I’ve ever seen.”

And for those eager to scoff at Stewart’s display of emotion in the stands, the Telegraph’s Allan Massie had this to say:

The sight of an elderly rock star dissolving in floods of tears at Celtic Park last night may provoke some to scornful muttering. But some of us will be more sympathetic to Rod Stewart’s display of emotion. Sport has this effect on us. It’s a response to gallantry, among other things. It may also be an expression of relief on days or nights when you have waited a long time for success. Celtic’s defeat of Barcelona, hailed as the greatest club side of modern times, was just such an occasion, arguably the finest victory by a Scottish club since Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen beat the other Spanish giants Real Madrid in the final of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup almost 30 years ago.

(H/T Dirty Tackle)

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Cindy Boren · November 8, 2012

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