Zenit St Petersburg defender Branislav Ivanovic has insisted there will be no love lost when the Russian outfit travel to Parkhead this week, despite Brendan Rodgers giving the Russian his first break.
Speaking in a press conference, as quoted by Celtic Quick News, the former Chelsea enforcer stated that he respects Rodgers as he gave him his first chance in football.
“I actually made my debut for Chelsea with Brendan as my coach. He was reserve team manager at the time and he picked me for my first game at the club.”
“He was completely different to what I’d seen before in football.”
Ivanovic went on to be one of Chelsea’s most consistent defenders, serving as their first choice full-back for a number of years.
However, there will be no sentiment ahead of the crucial Europa League fixture, as both clubs are looking to proceed to the next round of the competition.
Both teams do have viable chances of making it into the Champions League via their domestic campaign’s, yet a cup-run in Europe is alwasy desirable.
“He’s a very good manager and so passionate about the game. He takes care of everything for the players, he understands football.” Ivanovic added.
The first of the two legs will be played at Parkhead on Thursday, then Celtic will travel to Russia the following week to complete the fixture.
In other Celtic news, Brendan Rodgers has raved about one Hoops winger.