Scottish Cup Final 2017: Celtic v Aberdeen
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Brendan Rodgers will lead his Celtic side in a fierce battle for the Scottish Cup on May 27th at Hampden Park. Great tickets for the Cup are still available for sale online. Celtic attacker Patrick Roberts has chosen to be available for his side’s battle against Aberdeen for the Scottish Cup. Roberts has scored 11 goals to date this season. Celtic's on-loan attacker Roberts says he has no regrets over playing for Celtic for the Scottish Cup Final 2017 rather than playing for England at the Under-20 World Cup. If he made a different decision, 20-year-old Roberts would have been part of Paul Simpson's England squad in South Korea but opted to stay in Glasgow to play for Scottish glory and his boss Brendan Rodgers.
"I made a decision and I'm proud of that decision," Roberts said. "I've got a massive final to play. There's an incentive for all of us to go all the way." With a victory, mighty Celtic can seal the treble for the third time in the club's history if they defeat Aberdeen on Saturday at Hampden. The Scottish Cup may be Roberts' last game for Celtic, since he is due to return to Premier League parent side Manchester City in the summer, after completing 18 months at Celtic Park. "To win the treble at this massive club would be big for me and hopefully we can do that," Roberts added.
Roberts credits Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers for the improvements in his game this season. "It's a massive trophy to be a part of and a big one in Scottish football. So it's important for all the players, not just me, to go into it 100% and we'll do that,” continued Roberts. "We have the same focus, the same mindset and go into the final in the same way as every other game this season." In the past, Celtic have defeated Aberdeen in all five of their clashes this season, but Roberts believes the Pittodrie side will be a "tough test" because "they have a point to prove". An in form Roberts has been in impressive in recent weeks - scoring 6 goals in his last 10 games. He credits the coaching of manager Brendan Rodgers for the quality of his performances.
"I'm feeling good at the moment, confident, and as a player you need to feel good about yourself, to go into a game feeling positive and do what you do best," Roberts said. "As a player, you're striving for games and form, and you become a better player for that. The time I've been here I've come on leaps and bounds, thanks to the players and the staff here. It's been a good year and it's not over yet. "Rodgers is a top coach, and he's brought all the players onto a different level. This year we've been unplayable at times and that's been down to his management, his coaching has been brilliant,” said Robests. "He loves working with young players, he's done that with me, Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney. And we've gone up a gear this season, which is important for our careers as well as Celtic."
Roberts expressed his sadness and concern for the families affected by the Manchester bombing. "It's a tragic thing to happen in any part of the world, but especially somewhere so close," he said. "To go to a concert and for a bomb to go off, it's not good and our thoughts are with all the families end everyone in Manchester. It's good that we unite and get behind the country." Former Manchester United Scottish manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently described the Lisbon Lions' 1967 European Cup win as "the greatest feat in football". Celtic's 2-1 win over Internazionale 50 years ago established the team as "pioneers of doing the impossible," Ferguson insisted. "They set the pattern for a period, particularly when Manchester United the next year did it. From '65 to '67, if someone had written a book about it they would call it fiction. It was amazing."
Ferguson gave a talk at an event at Glasgow's SSE Hydro to celebrate the achievement of Jock Stein's Celtic side on 25 May 1967. The Scot said the European Cup win paved the way for other British sides to follow. "They were pioneers for British football, there's no doubt about that," Ferguson said. "Sir Matt Busby at Manchester United was rebuilding the team after the Munich air disaster, but they got to a semi-final, which was a great achievement for a very young side. For Celtic to do it with 11 players from within 25 miles of each other is astonishing. This [event] will recognize the achievement, but [also] applaud the players and management staff who achieved it. It will never be done again." Ferguson was in Glasgow after watching Manchester United's fantastic 2-0 win over Ajax in Stockholm to win the Europa League and a spot in next season’s Champions League. Ferguson said the win "gave the city a lift" after the bomb blast at the end of the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night that killed 22 people and injured 116 more. "Manchester is a city like Glasgow, it's working class, they've got fantastic people there and they'll get together," Ferguson added. "They've been through some difficult times in the past, the bombing in the Arndale Centre in 1996, they recovered from that, and they will get together because they have the working class ethic about them and there's a great unity now in the city. We're all proud of the United side, it was a great achievement."
Former Celtic captain Roy Aitken also attended the event at the Hydro. "They've been the benchmark for all the teams since 1967," Aitken said. "It's never going to be achieved again, it's ironic considering the group of players who were there at that time. Celtic demand success and these guys showed what it took to be winners, they were top quality and top guys. Everything that you need in a footballer, they had. "When I came into the team at 16, 17, I was from Ardrossan, Bobby Lennox was from Saltcoats, he was my mentor throughout my early years. He showed what it took to be a Celtic player and gave me the guidelines and tools required,” said Aitken. "I owe a lot to him and it's great to be here tonight to celebrate with the fans and the team. They were the ones we all looked up to." The Scottish Cup Final 2017 will be played by Celtic v Aberdeen at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland on May 27, 2017.
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