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Rodgers targets European impact in second spell at Celtic

New Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Ian Kington/AFP

Brendan Rodgers said restoring Celtic’s success in European competition is his target after taking charge of the Glasgow giants for a second time.

Celtic have won 11 of the last 12 Scottish Premiership titles and 17 domestic trophies in the past seven seasons.

Rodgers won seven of those during his first stint at Parkhead in two-and-a-half years between 2016 and 2019.

However, the Northern Irishman is the only Hoops manager to win a Champions League group game in the past decade.

Celtic have not won a knockout tie beyond the qualifying stage in any European competition since 2004.

“I’m here again to win,” said Rodgers as he was unveiled at a press conference on Friday. “And to look to see if we can do something in Europe.”

Rodgers’ departure mid-season to join Leicester four years ago drew stinging criticism from the Celtic support.

He initially went on to enjoy success with the Foxes, finishing fifth in consecutive seasons in the Premier League and winning the club’s first ever FA Cup in 2021.

However, it all went wrong for Leicester last season as Rodgers was sacked with 10 games to go and the Midlands club went on to be relegated.

The former Liverpool boss said he had planned to take a year out to recharge his batteries, but was enticed back by the rare chance to come to a club on the up.

Celtic won a domestic treble last season under Ange Postecoglou, who was poached by Tottenham to be their new manager earlier this month.

“It will be the first job that I’ve come into where the team and club is on a high,” added Rodgers.

“What you have is a young hungry squad who, if they keep that mentality, then they can continue to achieve.”

Celtic will go straight into the Champions League group stages next season with Rodgers first competitive game set to come on the first weekend of August when the Scottish champions begin the defence of their title.

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