Lazio, Celtic, Stade Rennais, and CFR Cluj. This is how Group E of the 2019/20 Europa League looks like. A difficult bracket, the Biancocelesti have been selected as not only one of two teams to progress but also as the favorites to come out on top. After the announcement by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Sporting Director Igli Tare spoke to Sky Sport.
“A complex group stage? We don’t like easy things, we were born to survive difficulties. It’s a tough group because we meet two teams that have just completed the Champions League preliminary round. Rennes also reached the Europa League quarter-finals last year and have invested heavily this summer. Also, we know the history of Celtic. It’s an exciting group, it will be nice to go to Glasgow and Romania against a Cluj team that is a reference point for Romanian football. The Europa League is a competition that can give us so much in terms of image; in recent years we have learned to know it well. We know that through a long journey we can also get to the end; with a little luck, we will hopefully have an absence of injuries and the state of form of the group will be very positive. Celtic is a tough team that started with three wins in the league. They are a physical team, as well as Rennes. We will have to be careful but we are the favorites – this role suits us well, we must not hide. It is a path of growth: if we want to get into the football that counts we have to go through these experiences. We are used to suffering, we have grown a lot and now I can say that we have an experienced team with the right mix of young and very experienced players. The beauty of playing these competitions is to best represent Italian football in Europe, and Lazio has been doing it well in recent years.”