Champions League football remains key for Celtic captain Scott Brown

Scott Brown in action for Celtic (SNS Group)

CELTIC skipper Scott Brown insists Champions League football remains key even after more than a decade at the club.

The 33-year-old has enjoyed a successful career at Parkhead since signing from Hibernian in 2007 and last season he captained the Hoops to a unprecedented successive domestic treble.

However, ahead of the second-leg of their Champions League first qualifier against Armenian side Alashkert in Glasgow on Wednesday night, into which the Hoops take a 3-0 lead, Brown stressed the importance of reaching the group stages of the tournament.

He said: “We want to get back in the Champions League, we’ve done it the last two seasons but this season is going to be that bit harder with the four qualifiers.

“It’s going to be difficult to do and we’ll take it one game at a time but that’s our main aim.

“I signed for Celtic 11 years ago, and that’s why I signed, to play in the Champions League.

“You want to play against the best players in the world and square up to them and show them we are just as good.

“I know everyone underestimates Scottish football a little bit but in previous years in the Champions League we have done ourselves proud.

“When players come to Celtic Park they love the experience, whether they win, lose or draw. It’s an experience that lives with them for the rest of their career.

“People like (Lionel) Messi and (Andres) Iniesta came here and enjoyed every moment of it as well and we got some great results as well. Those nights and our fans love it as well, that’s why we aim to get back into it.

“This is a huge game for us at Celtic Park, the pitch is looking good and the fans will be there to support us so we’re looking forward to it.”

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