In occasione della sfida di ritorno di Europa League tra Inter e Celtic noi membri del Direttivo degli Italian Celts siamo stati ospiti del Celtic Board a San Siro per consegnare un “premio” particolare ad un giocatore al quale ci sentiamo particolarmente legati. Stiamo parlando di Scott Brown, capitano e giocatore simbolo del Celtic FC, colui il quale, secondo noi, incarna alla perfezione lo spirito Celtic di cui tanto andiamo orgogliosi. Ed è per questo che abbiamo deciso di consegnarli per la seconda volta (la prima fu nel 2009) una targa celebrativa con tanto di dedica:
THE ITALIAN CELTS CSC EST. 2007
To our Capitan
“Celtic jerseys are not for second best…
they don’t shrink to fit inferior players”
Milano – 25/02/2015
Dopo la consegna della targa, tutti e tre i membri presenti – Alessandro Mangione, Giuseppe Maiorana e Roberto Longobardi, hanno rilasciato una lunga intervista a Liam Handerson, giornalista al seguito della squadra biancoverde. L’intervista successivamente è stata pubblicata sul sito ufficiale.
Di seguito l’estratto integrale:
CELTIC’S Italian fans presented captain Scott Brown with a special award last night after the Hoops were put their paces at the San Siro.
Representatives of the Italian Celts CSC had been invited by the club to watch Ronny Deila’s men train ahead of tonight’s UEFA Europa League last 32 clash against Inter Milan.
Alessandro Mangione (Rome), Roberto Longobardi (Naples), Giuseppe Maiorana (Sondrio), Paulo Gulisano (Lecco) and Fr Renato Coronelli (Milan) handed over the plaque to the skipper because of his inspirational performances and leadership.
Giuseppe explained: “We awarded Scott Brown a small plaque as we feel he represents the best of the Celtic spirit and we are proud to have him as our captain. We were lucky to be here to present him with it but this come from all the Italian Celts.”
Founded in 2007, the club’s members hail from all across Italy, but they come together once a year for their annual meeting in Barga, Tuscany, a small city with strong connections to Scotland.
And after the Italian Bhoys had met manager Ronny Deila and the rest of the squad, some of them revealed the reasons why they followed a club far from their shores.
Roberto (34) said: “Celtic is a story of football – the hopes, the shirt and the history are fantastic. These were motives for supporting the club.
“I have been supporting Celtic since the UEFA Cup final in Seville – the supporters were fantastic during the match, and I went to see the team in Glasgow two years later and it was a very good experience.”
Giuseppe said: “I was always fascinated by Scotland and Ireland and then I was here in the San Siro in 2007 for the Champions League last-16 tie against AC Milan, but I didn’t watch the pitch – I only watched the sea of green-and-white in the first and third tiers.
“I fell in love with the club at that moment and I knew I had to go to Glasgow to see a match in Paradise. I went that summer, and after that, I met all the other beautiful people of the Italian Celts, so it’s been wonderful.”
Alessandro added: “The main reason for me is that I loved one player – Henrik Larsson, the King of Kings. I really loved him as a player and because of that I started to get more interested in Celtic. I read the history and went to Scotland to go the games.
“I love the fans, the history of the club and the reasons why Celtic were founded. I also love the atmosphere and the culture of the club.
“My first match was seven years ago, a Celtic v Aberdeen game where we won 3-2, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored in the game. I have been over four more times, including to a Glasgow derby.
“I was also in Barcelona to watch the team two years ago and that was a fantastic trip because the Celtic fans in an away match are fantastic. I really enjoyed the atmosphere.”
The Italian Celts will join the rest of the travelling Hoops support in the San Siro tonight as the Scottish champions aim to defy the Nerazzurri and book a spot in the last 16 of the competition.
Giuseppe said: “I was there last Thursday for the first-leg against Inter and the atmosphere was crazy, especially during You’ll Never Walk Alone at the beginning and when we scored the two goals in the space of one minute – fantastic.
“I prefer not to make a prediction for tonight as every time I do, we are not so lucky. But I really hope we can go through and relive another beautiful European night with the Celtic supporters.
“It’s always a party with Celtic, as the song goes, ‘…we don’t care if we win lose or draw’ – and it’s true.”