Gordon Brown was Prime Minister, “What a Wonderful World” was Christmas number 1 and the first iPhone was released.
Yes, 2007 seems a long time ago, but it was the last time Celtic and Rangers played together in the Champions League group stages.
Although the Old Firm have had individual spells in Europe’s top club competition since, this season the two can once again celebrate qualification.
With Hearts also guaranteed for the European group stage, are we enjoying a new high for Scottish football and what does this mean for the Scottish Premiership?
“It makes the game more attractive”
Well, former Celtic striker Andy Walker thinks the success of Celtic and Rangers could inspire even better players to be attracted to the Scottish Premiership.
“I remember working the last time Celtic and Rangers were both in the group stage, one played on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday and it was just fantastic for the game here,” said the sky sports expert.
“I have to say it’s great for Glasgow, not to mention Scotland. It shows you how well Celtic and Rangers have done.
“I think Scottish football is better for both teams in the Champions League. It makes the game more attractive and could attract better players as well.
“The excitement is there with the cream of Europe now coming to Glasgow to take on Celtic and Rangers in sold-out stadiums. The fans will also enjoy the away trips to fantastic locations, I am sure.”
SPFL congratulate Rangers on reaching Champions League group stages
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said:
“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to everyone connected with Rangers for reaching the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
“Rangers were worthy winners in both games against PSV Eindhoven, and the players and coaching staff deserve huge praise for their performances in European competitions of late.
“It’s great to have two Scottish clubs back in the Champions League group stages with Rangers and Celtic for the first time since 2007/8 and it will be a real benefit for the country’s UEFA coefficient. “
Boyd: It’s great for Scottish football
Kris Boyd admits he feared Old Firm would struggle to dine out again in Europe’s top club competition after many years away, but the former Rangers striker believes it now provides a huge platform. form at both clubs and the Scottish game as a whole.
“I thought the chance for any Scottish team to qualify for the Champions League was becoming virtually impossible due to how far they’ve come in recent years,” he said.
“Now suddenly, after a couple of years of doing well in Europe, the coefficient is higher and we see Celtic qualifying automatically and Rangers have found a way to join them.
“Reaching the Europa League final last season definitely helped Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team and it has to be said that it’s a fantastic result for Rangers and Scottish football.
“We look at the big names in Europe and know it will be difficult, but when you look at Rangers and how they have played in European football over the past two years, no one will want to play them either!
“Both teams should get to the Champions League every year and hopefully now is the stepping stone to even better [times]. To have both in the group stage is great for Scottish football, especially with the additional funding for other clubs as well.”
How far could the Old Firm go in Europe?
The top two from each group qualify for the Champions League Round of 16, while the teams that finish third qualify for the Europa League, so how far could Celtic and Rangers go?
“I think a very reasonable and realistic success for both teams would be to finish third and secure Europa League football after Christmas,” Walker said.
“Everyone knows, in Glasgow in particular, Celtic and Rangers can rise to the occasion and there have been some memorable results.
“With a week to go until the transfer window closes, I think Rangers will definitely be looking to do some business. I think Alfredo Morelos could be inspired by playing in the Champions League, but there’s always that uncertainty about it. he wants to commit, so they need someone.
“Celtic have already done a lot of good business this summer, but Ange Postecoglou isn’t done yet and there will be more additions there too, I’m sure.”
Meanwhile, Boyd added: “I think Rangers and Celtic should both be aiming for that third place.
“There’s nothing to say they shouldn’t be competing for the Europa League after Christmas and you never know, hopefully there’s always the possibility of causing a few shocks.
“Champions League parties are a great atmosphere and the excitement will be incredible.”