It wasn't just Lionel Messi who has been full of praise for Celtic lately, his boss also got in on the act after yesterday's International Champions Cup clash between the two sides in Dublin.
Luis Enrique presided over Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Brendan Rodgers' Celtic in the important-sounding but entirely meaningless friendly tournament, the International Champions Cup, in the Aviva yesterday and Enrique told the media after the match of his hopes that Celtic earn a place in the group stages of the Champions League.
Despite struggling against Gibralter's Lincoln Red Imps in the previous round, a 1-1 away draw against Kazakh opponents Astana has left the Glaswegians as favourites to advance to the group stages and the Barcelona coach is hoping that Celtic will complete the job in the return leg at Celtic Park - and he reserved special praise for Celtic's Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, Enrique said:
I expect that they will go through. It’s great to have a crowd and supporters like that in the Champions League. Patrick Roberts is a great player and he has a great future in the game. He has great quality and I expect he will be important for Celtic.
Lionel Messi in action in Dublin yesterday
Barcelona won the match thanks to goals from Arda Turan and Munir El Haddadi, as well as an own goal from - you've guessed it - Efe Ambrose.
Leigh Griffiths, Celtic's lone goalscorer yesterday, said that Celtic's efforts at the back will have to improve if they are to have any ambitions of achieving their goals in Europe this season.
It’s not a bad goal to put on the CV but the squad’s disappointed. We shouldn't be giving goals away like that at this kind of level. You have to give credit where it's due, Barcelona are the best in the world at pressing teams and attacking.
Second half we didn't concede but the first half we should have been tighter at the back and barring one or two errors, we could maybe have had a draw.
Celtic will find out their fate in this season's Champions League when they welcome Astana to Glasgow for the return leg in the third qualifying round this Wednesday. Anything less than qualification will case a dark cloud over Brendan Rodgers' attempts to breathe new life into a Celtic team who have looked listless in Europe in recent seasons.