Brendan Rodgers targets European impact as his second spell at Celtic gets underway

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Brendan Rodgers has expressed his goal of reviving Celtic’s achievements in European competitions as he returns to manage the Glasgow club.

Over the past seasons, Celtic has dominated Scottish football, winning 11 out of 12 Scottish Premiership titles and 17 domestic trophies.

Rodgers achieved seven of these victories during his initial period at Parkhead, spanning from 2016 to 2019. Nevertheless, he remains the sole Celtic manager to have triumphed in a Champions League group match in the last ten years. Since 2004, Celtic has been unable to progress beyond the qualifying stage in any European competition.

“I’m here again to win,” said Rodgers as he was unveiled at a press conference on Friday. “And to look to see if we can do something in Europe.”

Rodgers’ decision to leave Celtic and join Leicester in the middle of the season four years ago was heavily criticized by Celtic fans. However, he found success with Leicester, finishing fifth in the Premier League for two consecutive seasons and winning the club’s first-ever FA Cup in 2021. 

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse last season as Rodgers was fired with 10 games remaining and Leicester ended up being relegated. Initially, Rodgers had planned to take a year off to rejuvenate, but he was tempted back by the unique opportunity to join a club that was on the rise.

Last season, Celtic achieved a domestic treble under the leadership of Ange Postecoglou. However, Tottenham recently recruited him as their new manager.

“It will be the first job that I’ve come into where the team and club is on a high,” added Rodgers.

“What you have is a young hungry squad who, if they keep that mentality, then they can continue to achieve.”

Celtic will automatically qualify for the group stages of the Champions League next season, and their first competitive match under Rodgers is scheduled for the first weekend of August, as they start their title defense as Scottish champions.

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