Lincoln Red Imps defender Joseph Chipolina admits Celtic victory would trigger holiday nightmare



Lincoln Red Imps defender Joseph Chipolina admits a historic Champions League win over Celtic would be a dream for the players and a nightmare for their families.

The Gibraltan champions head to Glasgow on Wednesday for the second qualifying round return leg after recording a stunning 1-0 victory at the Victoria stadium last week.

Lincoln are bracing themselves for a Hoops’ onslaught as Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and his team bid to avoid a humiliating European exit.

Joseph (left) with his brother Kenneth

A clash against either Lithuania’s Zalgiris Vilnius or FC Astana of Kazakhstan await the winners but the third qualifying round ties would clash with family holidays that most of the part-time squad have planned.

Civil servant Chipolina admits prolonging their fairytale journey would come at a cost in more ways than one.

The Gibraltar international left-back said: “Most of us didn’t think we’d get past the second round, just like last season. And we’ve got our holidays booked after this round.

“Most of us have holidays planned with our families for around the 25 or 26th of July, which would be the following week.

“We even have to take time off work to travel over for the game on Wednesday. The missus is a bit annoyed by that.

“If we were to get through it would obviously be a dream come true but we would lose out on our holiday and spending time with the family.

“We haven’t really stopped since last season, we’ve carried on training.

“As a footballer and looking at it from a personal point of view, I want to carry on and that would be a dream come true.

“But the family won’t be too happy. Not only would we not be able to go on holiday now, but we would also lose our money for what we’ve paid for.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have to go and do the best as we can, and try and enjoy it.

“The family understand it, they have to understand it. It’s a dream for us as well.”
Chipolina admits he was given a heroes welcome at his work just hours after playing his part in last Tuesday’s 1-0 first leg victory over the Scottish champions.

Lee Casciaro scored the only goal of the game in the second half on an unforgettable night in the British Overseas Territory.

He added: “I had to go into work the next day. I got up at quarter past seven and was in for eight. You can imagine after the game my body was still full of adrenalin, especially because we won.

“I must have gone to bed at half 2 in the morning. I was knackered but it was worth it.

“After our important games, even if we play in a final in Gibraltar we normally go back to the club and have a few drinks and eat there. We had a couple a couple of drinks and then we went home.

“But the following day we had to, one: work and then, two: train in the afternoon.

“I went into the office and everyone gave me a round of applause. They were saying ‘well done’ and things like that and everywhere you walk around in Gib, they’re all saying the same, ‘congratulations, well done’, and so on.

“It’s a historic moment for us here.”