If Dermot Desmond wasn’t quite so persuasive, Brendan Rodgers may have been attending Celtic’s match against Atletico Madrid in an altogether less formal capacity. But he is delighted to be here as Celtic manager, even if swapping his Majorca base for Glasgow doesn’t sound as if it comes with too many other advantages.

Rodgers planned to travel from the sunshine island to take in games during a spell out of the game, a move borne out of his long-held fascination with the Spanish game and his desire to immerse himself in it further. He has learned the language, too, as well as studying their football.

But Celtic proved too strong a pull, so he is more than happy to be coming back here with his team, and to be pitting his wits against one of the continent’s top teams, and top managers.

“When I was planning on taking a year out I was thinking about travelling and taking in games,” Rodgers said.

“So I could have been here, absolutely. The plan was to set up base-camp in Majorca and travel from there all around Europe. So, I could very easily have been sat in the stand for this game watching Celtic take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

“But I am very, very lucky to be on the touchline.

“It goes back to when I was a young coach [my fascination with Spanish football]. When I was trying to improve myself, thinking about the way I was feeling on how the game should be played, I went to Spain. Along with Holland, it was a big reference point for me.

“I had the opportunity to visit clubs here and the way I was received as a young coach - whether it was Valencia or Barcelona or Seville - they really opened the doors for me.

“They gave me a really comprehensive education on how a really good club operates from the top to the tail.

“The playing style in Spain was huge for me, technicality and tactically how they play the game. And that was a great inspiration for me as a young guy coming through.

“From there I was interested in that fusion with the British mentality. I wanted to use our mental strength, and the running, while encouraging the players to play the game at a technically and tactically high level.

“Whether I ever manage out here in this country, I’ll still always come here to watch games. Because I’ve always loved how they do their work.

“That’s the same with other countries I travel to. But certainly this is a country I fell in love with when it came to their football.

“I love how they play and how they operate. And how they develop players. I have always tried to bring that into my own way of working.”

One of the lessons that Rodgers wants his players to take from their Spanish opponents is the way that they approach games with no inferiority complex, something he thinks Scottish teams in general may have done in the past when making the step up to Champions League level.

And that will be the last message he imparts to them before they step out at this imposing arena.

“I always think it is just you want the players to come off and have played with no fear,” he said.

“I think you can lose any game, especially against top teams and top players, but don’t come off disappointed.   

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“That’s what we have said at all the games. Go and impose our game. Look at Feyenoord, we did that. Look at Lazio, we did that and certainly against this team which is one of the crack teams in European football, we definitely did that.

“The message will be the same. Let's go and ask them to play the game they don’t want to play. And for us to play how we want to play.

“And when we have to defend, we know we have to, but let’s be together.”

That doesn’t mean though that Celtic will set out to defend in numbers or try to use spoiling tactics. Instead, Rodgers wants them to impress their attributes upon their opponents.

“How we play the game is to impose our game,” he said.

“I hear the word pragmatism used a lot. For me, it is adaptability.

“We recognise they are a very good side, but I recognise we are a good team. We play to our level, we can impose our way, bring our authority to the game.

“But like I say, you have to be adaptable. At times in the game as we were in the first game, you are under pressure and you have to defend.

“That’s not being pragmatic, that’s just how the game rolls. But we certainly set off to be fast and dynamic in our game and it’ll be no different in this game.

“The cynics will probably tell us we’ve only got one point but for a club and a team like ourselves it’s all about improving that level of confidence. That all comes through performances. We haven’t quite had the results and the points on the board that especially from the last two games we have deserved.

“But we are very happy with the performance levels. We want to keep that going and see if we can take more points from the next three games than we did from the first three.”