I’M going to preface this with the admission that I come from a long line of Celtic fans, excluding my dad who had to be different of course and is a devoted Rangers man. I myself have been a Celtic fan for the entirety of my adult life, despite early intervention from my dad who once bought me a Rangers kit in my childhood – though, I digress. 

Saturday’s stunning 90th minute win to snag another double was quite the viewing. Facing your biggest rivals at Hampden in a cup final when the sun is beating down on Glasgow is an experience every football fan relishes, but to bring it back from almost defeat in the very last breaths of the game is nothing short of spectacular football. 

There is a marked difference between Celtic and Rangers, one that has been apparent on the pitch particularly over the last season where Celtic have enjoyed four wins and a draw in five Glasgow derbies. The thirst for the win is palpable, particularly looking to the likes of Callum MacGregor in comparison to his Rangers counterpart James Tavernier. There is a tangible belief up until the final whistle that the win is possible, no matter how challenging the game. 

And Saturday was a challenge, Rangers were on their game, determined to close the season with at least one win against the Hoops and Celtic, certainly for the majority of the match, struggling to seal the deal despite the clear possessional advantage. But right up until that last minute, they fought for the win.

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There were no early concessions from anyone in the squad that the game was a goner, the will to take home the silver painted in green and white up and down Hampden Park. A difference that set the two sides apart, and has seen Celtic triumph over Rangers for not just this season, but over consecutive seasons.

It’s been another remarkable season for Brendan Rodgers’ men. The 130th professional season of the club has seen them bring their 42nd Scottish Cup title and their 54th League title home to Paradise – taking their silverware total to an equaliser of 118 alongside Rangers, and making Glasgow the most decorated football city in Europe.

The opportunity for Rodgers to make history again next season lies open – should they go on to win next year’s League title, they will also equalise Rangers’ all time premiership record of 55 League title wins. An exciting prospect, but one that won’t be an easy feat. 

It has not been an easy season either – and at earlier points, as it often does, the League title looked set to go in anyone’s direction. With Rangers fans convinced back in February that they would take it, it was squeaky bum time for their east end opponents.

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After a rocky start, the second half of this season demonstrated some of the best form and technical ability that Scottish football has to offer. A genuine pleasure to watch. 

In the last couple of decades, we’ve seen success at Celtic Park remnant only of the Jock Stein days of 66/7 and a resurgence of global prominence that little other teams have managed before. With over 160 supporters clubs across 20 countries, an estimated nine million fans globally and one of only five teams in the world to have won over 100 trophies – Celtic have firmly cemented themselves as one of the world’s greatest sides.

I remember being at a United Nations’ summer camp in rural upstate New York once, in the middle of the Adirondack mountains. I went to the recreation hall on the first day only to find a Celtic flag hanging from the roof.

It was then that I realised the real reach of this club and how many corners of the world feel at home in its ranks – and it looks like their home domination of Scottish football is also set to last – if they keep up the form and mentality that got them over the finish line this season.

Following last season, the appointment, or re-appointment I should say, of Brendan Rodgers was crucial to the club’s 23/4 success. Some were nervous, some were looking for something different – but the results speak for themselves.

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It seems Rodgers’ trip down south only better prepared him for his return to Glasgow’s East End, where his first season back has ended in absolute triumph and managed to firmly quieten any naysayers – for now at least. 

But Rangers have been hot on Celtic’s heels this season, and could well have taken both the League and Scottish Cup titles at different respective points.

If Rodgers wants to continue his winning streak and lead Celtic to another historic result next season, he needs to display the ambition the fanbase is crying out for.

Though dominating domestically in Stein fashion, the obvious difference is the team’s European performance – and it’s up to Rodgers to harness and inject life into his talent in a way that ensures it can deliver as consistently abroad as it does on home turf. 

The trifecta of a talent like Rodgers at the helm, a substantial bank balance and a fanbase raring to go is one that should be feared.

A perfect storm is brewing that is set to catapult the club into the next phase of its development – but if one thing is for certain, their long-time Govan rivals down the road will be ready and waiting at every turn to defend their historic title wins lead.

If Celtic want to keep it up, the time to strike is now.