Earlier today, Celtic were drawn against either Linfield or SP La Fiorita from San Marino in the second qualifying round of the continent’s elite competition, and even if they win, they’ll still face at least another two potentially tricky ties.
And having played against the Scottish champions many times during his glittering career, World Cup winner Xavi Hernandez knows how big a club Brendan Rodgers’ side are, and loves seeing them play on the biggest stage.
Speaking via the Daily Record, the ex-Barca midfielder said: “I don’t think that Celtic should be a club that has to qualify for the Champions League.
“When you consider the size of the club, their history, their stadium – they should qualify automatically by winning their league.
“But the rules are the rules and the important thing is that they qualify for the group stages.
“With Rodgers as coach and players they now have, I think Celtic’s ambition should be more than qualifying for the group stage, it should be to make it to the last 16.
“The most important thing is that Celtic keep their big players – Dembele was one of the top forwards in Europe last season and any club must firstly make sure that they keep their best players.
“If they want to go up a level in the Champions League they must also look to add some quality.
“Even if it is a loan player from one of the big clubs in England – it’s important they have players who have experience of playing at the highest level.”