Aberdeen stars to use Gothenburg celebrations as European incentive in race for 3rd with Hearts and Hibs

This week in Aberdeen has been about looking back. Back to a time when the Dons could make a claim to rulers of European football. Forty years ago they defeated Real Madrid to win the Cup Winners’ Cup in Gothenburg. They would follow it up by defeating the European Cup winners Hamburg in the Super Cup.

Players, who were granted the Freedom of the City on Friday, have reminisced, untold stories of those days and nights, both in Sweden and in the Granite City. BBC Scotland produced a fantastic documentary on the success and if you happened to find yourself in the Castlegate area of the city, the large ABERDEEN sign has been lit up with images and clips from the win over Madrid.

It is a success which should rightly be celebrated but more so cherished. Aberdeen defeating Real Madrid in the European final. It is hard, even for the dandiest of Dons fans, to dream of such a situation occurring once more. But that time, those memories are important in terms of looking ahead. With four games remaining the team are ever so close to returning. Not just to European football but to the group stages. All those years under Derek McInnes of qualifying for Europe they were unable to make that final step. This time around that step is no longer there. They just need to protect a lead of five points to Hearts and six to Saturday's opponents at Pittodrie Hibs. Then it will be time to create more European memories for those who were there in Gothenburg. New and first memories for the younger generation. It is an exciting time. And not just for the supporters.

Embrace the pressure

The Aberdeen sign in the city was lit up with images of the famous night in Gothenburg.The Aberdeen sign in the city was lit up with images of the famous night in Gothenburg.
The Aberdeen sign in the city was lit up with images of the famous night in Gothenburg.
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"I think it is very exciting for everyone involved with this football club," goalkeeper Kelle Roos said. “The fans are excited, the players are excited. If you look at the bigger picture you might feel some pressure but ultimately that is part and parcel of football. There is always pressure, whether you are playing for relegation, promotion, winning the league, European football, there is always some sort of pressure. As a footballer you need to be able to embrace that.”

The Dutchman, who has been a fantastic signing and one of the best goalkeepers in the Premiership, is only inspired by the stories of 1983, regularly speaking to Neil Simpson, a starter on that night in Gothenburg and now the club's pathways manager. Roos sees the celebrations as an “incentive” rather than a distraction.

“As a group of players we are probably minimally distracted by it,” he said. “It's beautiful and I think it shows us how important it is to this football club if we get European football. It's a nice incentive for us.

“I speak to Neil quite a bit. When I came in I liked to find out about [the success]. He walks around the corridors every day so it’s brilliant to have him around. It's sometimes a little bit surreal to feel that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were beaten by Aberdeen. It is something to be very proud of and should be celebrated. Each player should be adored in every way so it's great that it's happening.”



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