Champions League: Celtic's Peter Lawwell thrilled by 'box office' draw

Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lawwell
Peter Lawwell (right) says Brendan Rodgers' achievement in getting Celtic through to the Champions League group stage again is "astonishing"

Celtic are "relishing" the Champions League visits of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht, according to their chief executive Peter Lawwell.

The Scottish champions were in pot four in Thursday's draw in Monaco, with the German champions top seeds and the big-spending French outfit in pot two.

"It could have been slightly easier but it's certainly box office," Lawwell told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"To host these fantastic European clubs will just be magnificent."

Bayern Munich have won the Bundesliga for the past five seasons and feature players of the stature of Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boeteng, while PSG boast the world's most expensive player, Neymar, in their ranks.

Anderlecht have begun their season in indifferent form but last season were knocked out of the Europa League last eight by eventual winners Manchester United.

Lawwell praised Celtic's manager, Brendan Rodgers, for guiding Celtic to their 10th Champions League group stage appearance, and spoke of the excitement at the draw.

"We're relishing it," said Lawwell. "I haven't spoken to Brendan since the draw but I'm sure he's relishing it and we'll be ready to do our very best.

"I'm sure we will do our supporters proud.

"Clearly, as everyone recognises, the job that Brendan has done has been absolutely exceptional. To qualify two years running for the Champions League, with all the difficulties that qualification process presents is just fantastic, it's astonishing.

"The team have come on, they have taken on what he has been teaching them. I'm sure we'll give it a right good shot."

Celtic's Champions League Group B matches
Tuesday 12 September: Celtic v Paris Saint-GermainWednesday 27 September: Anderlecht v Celtic
Wednesday 18 October: Bayern Munich v CelticTuesday 31 October: Celtic v Bayern Munich
Wednesday 22 November: Paris Saint-Germain v CelticTuesday 5 December: Celtic v Anderlecht

Lawwell, who hopes to complete the loan signing of Patrick Roberts from Manchester City and the paperwork around Rivaldo Coetzee's arrival from Ajax Cape Town, said that being in the group stage is an important "part of the formula" that the club adheres to.

"We bring the players in, develop them, put them on the stage at Celtic Park and play them in the Champions League," he said.

"Then it's up to them. If they want to stay, fantastic, but they have an opportunity to go. Players want to play in the Champions League and they want to play for Celtic."

Meanwhile, Celtic defender Kieran Tierney said "everybody at Celtic is buzzing off Champions League football again".

He said: "This is what you want as a footballer. You're in the biggest tournament there is. So, to go out there, and play against the best is what you want to do."

Raheem Sterling and Kieran Tierney
Tierney (right) up against Manchester City's Raheem Sterling in last season's group stage

At the prospect of stopping the attacking menace of Neymar, Tierney said: "You need to do your normal job - you defend as well as you can. You know they are top-class players you are up against but you don't want to go in with any fear at all.

"You don't know if they (PSG) will be complacent. Everybody knows what Celtic Park is like and everybody knows the atmosphere.

"They'll be under no illusions that we're going to do our best and work hard. We'll be looking to do well every game we can and take what we can."

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