The magic at the rock - a forgotten fairytale
This seasons champions league has been full of surprises. From Monaco's young attacking team knocking out both Manchester City and Dortmund, to the remarkable continuation of Leicester city's fairytale, this could finally be the year where the trophy is awarded to a team outside the clubs that have dominated it for the last decade. Many people however have forgotten about one of the biggest shocks in European footballing history, an impossible result that highlights just why we love the beautiful game.
Celtic arrived in Gibraltar confident that they'd finish off this tie within the first 90 minutes. And who could blame them? The Scottish giants were the clear favourites, they spent millions of pounds a year on players, had a manager that had guided Liverpool to 2nd in the EPL and their whole squad was made up of professional players, something their opponents could only dream of. These opponents were Lincoln red imps. Winners of the Gibraltarian premier division for the previous 24 years, a joint European record, they progressed into the 2nd qualifying round after defeating Estonian club Flora 2-1 over two legs. This was the furthest any club from Gibraltar had ever reached in the competition and Celtic would, without a doubt, easily dispose of them. This wasn't the case.
Europa point, the monkey infected rock that Gibraltar is famous for, can be seen looking down upon the Victoria stadium, and on the 12th of June 2016 it witnessed one of the biggest shocks the footballing world has ever seen. The part timers of Gibraltar managed to defeat Celtic, thanks to a goal by local police officer Lee Casciaro in the 48th minute. After managing to hold on, no one could deny they deserved anything else from the match. This was incredible. An impossible result that even the most die hard Red Imp fan wouldn't have predicted. This showed that the underdog always has a chance, no matter how heavy the odds stacked against them were.
Although Celtic defeated them comfortably 3-0 in the return leg, the Imps had become engraved in the history books for a story that should never be forgotten.