Celtic’s unbeaten season: ‘Quality obvious, but mental strength in spades’

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes an unbeaten league season ‘won’t be done again in our lifetime’

In the modern era of the game, where the wealth and the superstars hang out in different leagues in different countries, there remains a pocket of world class in the Scottish football landscape.

As occasions go – colour, noise, joy – Parkhead on Sunday would have held its own with anything else going on in the monied environs of England and Spain, where other champions were crowned and celebrated.

The Lisbon Lions, 50 years on from their victory of the ages, stood over this like giants. Some were here, some, alas, were not, but their names were roared and their memory evoked visually, audibly, emotionally.

Brendan Rodgers’ team did what they had to do, what they’ve been doing for most of the season. Leigh Griffiths got the first, Stuart Armstrong got the second in the 2-0 win. Another victory, another championship. Long-standing records were matched and broken in this, their sixth league title in a row.

Some of Celtic’s football this season has been joyful, part of the thrill for their people being that the team are still young and developing.

They watch these players and, yes, they think of 10-in-a-row but they also think that this is a side, if kept together and added to cleverly, that can make strides in Europe, a team that has a right to dream about joining the Champions League last 16, if luck favours them.

The vibe on Sunday afternoon wasn’t just about saluting the Lions or heralding another league title and an unbeaten league run, the like of which has not been seen in Scotland since 1899 [a year that marked the beginning of the second Boer War, the creation of the paperclip and the founding of FC Barcelona]. No, it was to do with pride in the past, delight in the present and hope in the future.

The world and its mother knows of the vast advantages that Celtic have over the rest of Scottish football, but…

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