Celtic made it through the group stages of the UEFA Champions League this week with a late-winning goal against Benfica, good enough to secure them the second spot in Group G behind Barcelona. It was a victory for the underdog and the unexpected, which will give heart and hope to teams in future events of the competition.
The knockout stages of the Champions League will be dominated by teams from some of the biggest footballing nations: four teams from Spain, three from Germany, two from England and Italy and one apiece from Ukraine, France, Turkey, Portugal—and, of course, Scotland.
Celtic will be the smallest (in terms of recent relative continental success) and least-fancied representative left in the competition, but their continued presence is a great thing for the best competition in the game.
Here are the top five reasons why football should be glad that Celtic survived the group stages and will compete in the knockout rounds.