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Real Madrid vs. Celtic: A brief history

A quick look back into the history of the fixture.

Ticket for the friendly game between Real Madrid and Celtic in 1962. Courtesy of

Real Madrid are currently in Glasgow, bracing themselves for the exciting challenge of Celtic at Celtic park for the opening game of their UEFA Champions League season of 2022-23. Madrid has only ever faced the Scottish giants a few times in their history. Two of these fixtures were in the UEFA Champions League, in the 1979-80 season. The other two notable fixtures were two friendlies, in 1962 and in 2012.

Champions League Quarter-finals, 1979-80

Real Madrid faced Celtic in the two-legged quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 1979-80, spearheaded by the likes of Juanito, Santillana, and Laurie Cunningham. Vicente del Bosque, a very familiar face to the Madrid faithful, was also part of this team. Real Madrid won the first leg 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Santillana, Uli Stielike and Juanito were on the scoresheet.

Soccer player Vicente Dell Bosque Photo by Gianni Ferrari/Cover/Getty Images

In the return leg, Los Blancos suffered a 2-0 defeat at Celtic Park. Two second-half goals from George McCluskey and Johnny Doyle sealed the victory for the home side.

The Friendlies

Real Madrid traveled to Glasgow to face Celtic on the 10th of September in 1962. The game was arranged by a businessman named Max Benjamin for charitable causes. More than 70,000 fans rushed to Celtic park to see Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, and Paco Gento play. Madrid won the game by 3-1.

The most recent friendly between the two clubs was played in 2012, during the pre-season in Philadelphia. Mourinho’s star-studded squad comprising of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, and co. proved to be too strong for Celtic. Thanks to goals from Jose Callejon and Karim Benzema, Real Madrid won the game by 2-0.

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