Ange Postecoglou's date with Real Madrid - Champions League fixtures announced

Ange Postecoglou Real Madrid

Greek-Australian manager Ange Postecoglou will get his first taste of managing against the best club football has to offer in the Champions League group stage - starting off with a glamour fixture against Real Madrid in Glasgow.

The Hoops legions have been waiting patiently with their diaries at the ready following Thursday's draw in Istanbul, reported the Daily Record.

Now the scramble for tickets, flights and accommodation is well and truly on after UEFA confirmed the dates with Celtic in Group F alongside the Spanish giants, last season's Europa League semi finalists RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Celtic start with a home match with Real Madrid before playing Shakhtar in Warsaw. They are then away to RB Leipzig in the first of a double header with the Germans.

Then it's Shakhtar at Celtic Park before the group concludes with a trip to the Bernabeu.

Full fixture list:

September 6 - Real Madrid (h)

September 14 - Shakhtar (a)

October 25 - Shakhtar (h)

November 2 - Real Madrid (a)

Ange Postecoglou believes Real Madrid icon Ferenc Puskas would have taken "great pride" in seeing him lead Celtic against the Spanish giants in the Champions League.

The pair became close when Puskas, who died in 2006, managed Postecoglou at South Melbourne for three years.

"It's a shame he's not around to see it," the Celtic boss said according to BBC.

Postecoglou, who cites the Hungarian as one of his biggest influences, added: "I was pretty fortunate and blessed to have him as my manager for three years. I asked as many questions as I could about his whole Real Madrid experience.

"That was such a fantastic team, not just in the timespan of when he was playing but also beyond that. They really established themselves as one of the world's greatest sides with the football they played."

Celtic's only competitive meeting with 14-time European champions Real was 42 years ago. And while Postecoglou noted the significance of the occasion, the Greek-Australian was keen to point out he wants to see such events become regular occurrences.

"For our whole football club, that is why we want to be playing at this level," he said. "We want to be in the Champions League so we can test ourselves against the best and that is what we will be doing.

"You can pay for a tour of the Bernabeu, anyone can do that, so as an experience it's not that unique.

"What you want to do is make sure you have these opportunities, and that is what I have tried to do in my career."

Before the current Scottish title holders begin their Champions League group campaign, their first in five years, a trip to Dundee United (Sunday) and home game against Old Firm rivals Rangers (3 September) bookend a League Cup tie at Ross County (31 August).

With glamour European nights on the horizon, Postecoglou is adamant his players will not be distracted in their bid to retain the Premiership crown and League Cup.

"The players understand the reason we are in this position is because last year we were champions," he added.

"We have earned this right, you have always got to respect the fact that if you are not performing at a certain level, irrespective of the competition, then there is no point looking ahead because you will either not play in that or struggle even if you do.

"Our boys have been really good and focused, we had training this morning and it was as competitive as always because they know we have got three important games before that

"There will be games in between the Champions League games and there will be no one here who is saving themselves for those fixtures."

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