RB opponents Celtic in the Champions League: drivers of legend

RB opponents Celtic in the Champions League: drivers of legend

It’s only a very theoretical exercise, but if you ask 57-year-old Celtic Glasgow coach Angelos Postekoglu what advice his teacher would give him for a Champions League game at RB Leipzig, he wouldn’t hesitate to answer for a second. Do: “More than the opponent to score a goal.”

Postecoglu’s teacher was Ferenc Puskas, perhaps the technically best goalscorer in the history of football. In Madrid, generation after generation, the murmurs prevailing in the Real dressing room are still being passed on – when the Hungarian Spanish record champion joined the overweight, but silenced skeptics by juggling a bar of soap on his left step in the shower. Got it done “Ange”, as Postecoglu is called, has at least as much to tell about Puskas, who died in 2006 as a Madrilaneian. Because the original Greeks worked with Puscus on the other side of the world. in Australia.

Postecoglu’s parents moved there at the age of five, fleeing a difficult economic situation in their country, which had fallen into the hands of fascist military leaders after the 1967 coup. At that time Australia had immigration programs for Europeans. Postecoglou’s father, a carpenter, struck and set sail. “We were on a ship for 30 days,” the Celtic coach says over the phone.

Celtic coach Postecoglu has achieved a lot in football – just like Ferenc Puskaso

The fact that Postkoglu pursued a career in football is curious at least. Football was not and is not the most popular sport in Australia – except in immigrant communities. “I must have been seven or eight years old when my father signed me for a club founded by the Greeks,” Postecoglu says. He did well enough as a kicker to play top-flight in one of Australia’s semi-professional leagues in the 1980s. He initially made money as an insurer and banker. “She was a big inspiration to become a footballer,” he says with a laugh. And then in 1989 this very famous book came to Australia.

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The great Major, leader of the Hungarian Miracles team of 1950, Honvad, striker at Budapest and since 1956 at Real Madrid, was already at the end of an uncertain coaching career that took him from Spain to Canada, USA, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Spain. -Arabia, Egypt, Paraguay and Greece as well.

South Melbourne FC, where Postecoglu played as a full-back, offered him the job and Puskas accepted. Postecoglu claimed that he was not the only one in Australia who could relate to the name Puscus, to which his father had told him true miracles or wondrous truths, how to take it: “All the immigrants knew who Puskas was. This suddenly caused a lot of interest in our club,” says Postecoglu, who has held a special place in the club since then.

Because Puskas “rarely spoke English,” Postekoglu said, “but quite proper Greek” – Panathinaikos since a three-year coaching engagement in Athens, whose team led to the final of the European Cup of Champions. (0:2) against Ajax Amsterdam, “So we had a very close relationship,” Postecoglu says. He became Puskas’ driver and translator in Australia, and stuck to his every word because from a young age he had learned all about football, studied history and could read everything he could on I could hold my hand. And in the history books of football, the name Puskas is one of the names written in golden letters.

The impression that Puskas left has not passed. “You can’t imagine what a great man he was – how humble and respected, even though he really achieved everything in football,” Postecoglu said. Puskas also shaped him as a footballer: “He loved attacking football. It didn’t matter if we conceded three or four goals, as long as we scored one goal more than the opponent.”

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Puskas believed that football was there to entertain the audience. Postekoglu, who has worked as a coach in Australia, Greece and Japan, says he believes in that too Soccerose For the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before landing in Glasgow. His visions are well received by Celtic fans, who regularly present him a modified Christmas carol: “Last Christmas / I gave you my heart / But the very next day / You gave it. / This year / To save me from tears, / I’ll give it to Postekoglu, “Whoa! Sing to the tune of a classic.

“He doesn’t know Postekoglu better, but I love watching Celtic games. They are an active team and not one to sit back,” Leipzig coach Marco Rose said on Tuesday. This can also be supported with statistics: Celtic became Scottish champions last season with a six-point lead over Rangers and a goal difference of plus 59 (Rangers: plus 40). Celtic Plus are back at the top of the table with a goal difference of 23.

“There’s more data, new tools, more resources, new scientific knowledge,” Postecoglu says, “so you can say: Yes, football has changed. But not in its essence. What turns us on today turns us on.” Still: score a goal.” Three Celtic players are among the top ten goalscorers in Scotland’s current league: Kygo Furhashi (seven), who is expected to feature in the World Cup with Japan, Israel’s Lyel Abada (six) and Portugal’s Jota (four). .

However: in the Champions League return five years later, the Scots got nothing: in the home game against Real Madrid – the team that had immortalized Puskas – “The Bhoyas” lost 0:3. Celtic then drew 1-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk.

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RB Leipzig had a worse start in Europe and are still in vain after losing 4–1 to Donetsk and 2–0 at Real. Nevertheless, Postecoglu sees the Saxons as a great challenge. “Where do we end up? Who knows,” he says, “we want to show our football, then we’ll see.” This probably applies to him personally as well: he is already being traded as a candidate to Premier League teams such as Leicester or Wolverhampton. And should Jurgen Klopp one day give way, even as his successor at Liverpool.

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