Champions League: Celtic drawn to face Juventus in last 16

 

Scottish Premier League champions Celtic have been drawn against Serie A stars Juventus at the Champions League last 16 draw in Nyon, Switzerland.

The Old Lady of Italian football, seeded in the draw, top Serie A this season having clinched the Scudetto last term without losing a match.

They emerged unbeaten from Group E with wins over Chelsea and Shakhtar.

Continue reading the main story

In terms of glamour it's a beauty

Neil Lennon Celtic manager

The first leg in Glasgow will be played on Tuesday 12 February, with the return game on 6 March.

Juventus play in a new stadium in Turin - the Juventus Stadium - that replaced the Stadio delle Alpi and opened last summer.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said: ''In terms of glamour it's a beauty; in terms of qualification it's going to be very, very tough.

''It's a huge game to enjoy and relish and anything could happen over the two legs.''

Arturo Vidal is the driving force in the Juventus midfield, with Andrea Pirlo providing the team with a range of exquisite passing.

The other teams Celtic could have faced were Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Malaga, Manchester United, Paris St-Germain or Schalke 04.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell

Peter Lawell said facing Juventus would provide another great spectacle at Celtic Park

Despite being fourth seeds in qualifying Group G, Celtic finished runners-up to Barcelona, the highlights being a win over the Catalan stars in Glasgow and home-and-away wins over Spartak Moscow.

The Scots made their debut in the Champions League group stages against Juventus in September 2001.

They lost 3-2, the match decided by a controversial penalty awarded to the Italian hosts when Joos Valgaeren was judged to have pulled down Nicola Amoruso.

Celtic, in 1967, famously became the first British team to win the European Cup in 1967, but since the dawn of the Champions League era they have only twice progressed to the last 16.

Celtic v Juventus

  • 1981: European Cup first round - won 1-0 at home but lost 2-0 away
  • 2001: Champions League group stage - lost 3-2 in Turin, won 4-3 in Glasgow

Source: Opta stats

In 2006-07, they lost 1-0 on aggregate to AC Milan, Kaka's goal the difference between the sides in extra time at the San Siro.

The following season, they were knocked out by Barcelona, 4-2 the aggregate score.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell described Juventus as a "fantastic draw".

"They're one of Europe's great sides," he told BBC Scotland. "It'll be formidable in terms of the challenge, but we'll be ready.

"We've been magnificent throughout the qualifiers and group stage and we're looking forward to a great night at Celtic Park.

"We'll take inspiration from the last time we played them in 2001. Neil Lennon was in the team and it was a great night at Celtic Park with a great atmosphere."