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Brendan Rodgers returns for second spell as Celtic boss

Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Ian Kington/AFP

Brendan Rodgers made a dramatic return as Celtic manager on Monday, four years after walking out on the Glasgow giants to join Leicester.

Rodgers agreed a three-year contract with the Scottish champions, who were searching for a new boss after Ange Postecoglou left to take charge of Tottenham.

Former Liverpool boss Rodgers had been out of work since being sacked in April by Leicester, who went on to be relegated from the Premier League.

“I am really delighted to return to Celtic and I am hugely excited by this great opportunity. When I was given the privilege of being asked to join the club again, it was a very simple decision for me and my family,” Rodgers said.

“Ange has done some brilliant work across the last two years and I will be doing all I can to maintain Celtic’s momentum as we face into all our domestic and European challenges.”

The manner of Rodgers’ exit in February 2019 infuriated sections of the Celtic support.

A banner in the first game following his departure read: “You traded immortality for mediocrity. Never a Celt, always a fraud.”

However, time has been a healer, at least for the Celtic board as they have turned to the Northern Irishman to maintain the Hoops’ domestic dominance.

“We have enjoyed some great times at Celtic before and this will be my goal again, to deliver good football, ensure we have a team we all love to watch and ultimately bring more success to our fans,” Rodgers said.

“The club is in fantastic condition at all levels and I would like to thank the board for putting their trust in me to take the team forward.”

‘A proven winner’

Celtic chairman Peter Lawwell added: “We wanted a proven winner and that’s what Brendan is. Through the process of identifying the new manager, it was clear that Brendan was the outstanding choice.

“He has delivered before for Celtic and we are sure through his many qualities, he will do so again.”

Celtic have won 11 of the last 12 Scottish Premiership titles and five domestic trebles in seven seasons.

Rodgers more than played his part in that success, winning all seven available trophies during his two-and-half years at Parkhead and left with Celtic eight points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

The 50-year-old went onto enjoy success with the Foxes too, leading Leicester to back-to-back fifth-placed finishes in the Premier League in 2019/20 and 2020/21 and winning the club’s first ever FA Cup two years ago.

However, it all went horribly wrong for Leicester this season.

Rodgers was fired with 10 Premier League games remaining after dropping into the relegation zone.

But after winning only twice under interim boss Dean Smith, Leicester went down just seven years after winning the Premier League.

As his former employers prepare for the Championship, Rodgers will return to the Champions League next season with Celtic guaranteed a place in the group stages.

Rodgers is the only Celtic manager to have won a Champions League match beyond the qualifying stages in the past 10 years and making a long-awaited impact on Europe is one of his major challenges.

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