Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien has highlighted the one real disappointment of the Hoops’ France trip – the fan ban.
Neil Lennon’s men will take part in a pre-season friendly tournament starting tomorrow that will involve Nice, Lyon, and rivals Rangers. Celtic will only face the former pair before heading to the Parc de Princes for a glamour friendly vs PSG.
Les Parisiens are selling 5,000 tickets for the match, with prices at around £57 plus a booking fee (Daily Record). That means that only a very limited number of seats within the near 48,000 capacity stadium will be filled.
For Jullien, there’s a touch of sadness about that too. Speaking in the Daily Record, the big Frenchman was disappointed that his friends and family based in Paris will have to miss out.
“When the PSG game was announced, my phone starting making noise and my friends were like yeah, this is great, we’ll see you in Paris. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not sure people can go along to the games.’
“It’s a little sad that no one can come because it’s close to me. Maybe 30 minutes from my house. But it’s okay. You can understand why and it’s same for Oli and Odsonne.
“The biggest achievement for me right now is achieving something big with Celtic and that is what I have my concentration on.”
A big chance for Celtic’s French duo to strut their stuff
Usually, pre-season friendlies are all about building up fitness levels. The same goes for the pre-season tournaments too. However, you could forgive Celtic’s French contingent for looking at this trip a little differently.
Christopher Jullien, Odsonne Edouard and Olivier Ntcham are all returning back home. And in doing so, they will be coming up against top-quality opposition from their homeland.
Impressing against the best that Ligue 1 has to offer will potentially reap some big benefits. For Ntcham and Edouard, it could help put them in the shop window back home. For all three, it will be a chance to catch France coach Didier Deschamps’ eye.
Fitness and match-sharpness will be the key aspects Lennon will be focusing on. However, Celtic’s French stars will not want to look poor throughout their homecoming.
But in reality that goes throughout the whole club. Scottish football’s reputation abroad is damaging enough as it is. The whole farce regarding how the season came to an end won’t have helped matters.
The Hoops have a glorious chance here to add some respectability back to the country’s football and show up well against some of the best sides in one of Europe’s top five leagues. Here’s hoping the Bhoys can come out of it sparkling.
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