Founded in 1967 – what a year – and five time winners of the Campionato Sanmarinese di Calcio. That’s the top flight in San Marino to you and me.
This will be their sixth straight season in a European competition as well as their total amount of seasons in Europe be it the Champions League or Europa League. It should be mentioned that they have never made it past the first qualifying round in the previous five seasons – might they mark their 50th anniversay with a bit of progress?
That will be up to David Healy’s Linfield side from Belfast. They’ve been around a bit longer of course, a couple more than Celtic in fact.
In Europe, they have been battling away since the 1959-1960 season. They peaked in the 1966-1967 European Cup by reaching the quarter-finals.
Also in that round were of course Celtic who would go on to win the competition. Since then, Linfield haven’t gone any further than the second qualifying round in any European competition despite dominating their domestic league.
If you follow the odds, Linfield are bound to go through. In Europe though, funny things can happen.
Personally, I’d like to avoid playing Northern Irish side. It could be a pretty ugly affair for obvious reasons.
1967 is a significant year between Celtic and both of their potential opponents. I know who’d I’d prefer to face.
The Bhoys are back in training today and will be looking forward to that first tie in just over three weeks. Right now, they just need to focus on getting match fit starting today.