Lennon draws inspiration from 'Lisbon Lions' ahead of Benfica clash

The boss will take his side to the scene of the club’s historic European triumph ahead of their crucial Champions League clash in Portugal with a last-16 place up for grabs

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is looking for his team to draw inspiration from the club’s famous 1967 European Cup victory during Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Benfica.

The Hoops go into the fixture on the back of another historic European victory, against Barcelona at Celtic Park on November 7, and knowing that a win in Portugal will guarantee their progression to the competition’s round-of-16 stage.

And on the morning of the game the current squad will train at Estadio Nacional, where Celtic’s now-legendary side - nicknamed the ‘Lisbon Lions’ - defeated Inter to lift the European Cup.

"1967 is a pivotal day in our history and we all aspire to reach those heights again,” Lennon told reporters.

"The Lisbon Lions are a very special team, a unique bunch of men in the history of the club, and it is very poignant that we are playing in Lisbon.

“We will train at the stadium in the morning and let these current players get a feel of what is a special piece of history for our club. We [trained there] in 2007 and it might inspire them to play as well as they can."

Lennon was also keen to underline the calibre of their remaining opponents and assured that his side will not get ahead of themselves with a space on the last 16 as yet unconfirmed.

"You are never relaxed whoever the opposition is, particularly at this level,” he added.

"The landscape of the group can change on one night. This will be as tough as Barcelona if not tougher. The game is very important for both teams. Benfica are a formidable team at home, their domestic form is excellent and they, like ourselves, go into the game on the back of a very good win."

"We have done remarkably well to be in the position we are in on the back of beating Barcelona but that's gone now. We have two huge games left in the competition. This was always going to be a pivotal game for us, regardless of the Barcelona games.”