Wednesday was a day full of international friendlies all across the globe, showcasing some of the best players facing off in their national colors. The Bhoys were no exception to this day full of fantastic games, and many of them played instrumental roles with their national teams.
Four Celtic players, Stephen McManus, Scott Brown, Gary Caldwell and Paul Hartley, were featured in Scotland's tie against Croatia, known as one of the best teams in the world. The game was featured at Hampden Park, one of the most exciting stadiums in Great Britian, and a full force of Tartan Army fans came out to support the team. McManus captained the Scots for the first time and ex-Celt Kenny Miller scored to give Scotland a well-earned draw to Croatia, a good start to new coach George Burnley's Scotland career.
Artur Boruc was in action against the United States in a friendly played in Krakow, Poland that saw the Americans win 3-0. To be fair, Boruc didn't recieve much help from his Polish back line that had a hard time keeping up with the likes of Landon Donovan and the Eagles for 90 minutes.
Celtic Striker Georgios Samaras' Greek National Team saw off a dangerous Portugal 2-1 in a repeat of the Euro 2004 Final where Greece won 1-0. Portugal were without their star playmakers Christiano Ronaldo and Deco.
Perhaps the Celt who had the greatest showing was Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink with the Netherlands. The Dutch trailed 3-0 to Austria before an impressive comeback, with Big Jan scoring the equalizer for the Netherlands, to finish off the Austrians 4-3 in Vienna.
Shunsuke Nakamura's Japanese side lost to Bahrain 1-0 in Asian qualifying, and Scott McDonald's Austrailia battled out to a 0-0 draw with China (Damn, commies!) Ireland, with Celt midfielder Aiden McGeady, did not play.
The Celts now need to return to Glasgow to prepare for the first of three derby matches against Rangers arriving before the end of the season. The Old Firm match, which will be on Saturday, is a vital game for Gordan Strachan's men. With Celtic 3 points behind the SPL leading Rangers with a game played, this game is a neccesary win for the Hoops and if they can pull out a victory at Ibrox, they may just be able to pull away from their crosstown foes in time.