Ronny Deila has revealed the demands of being Celtic manager caused him anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and saw his personality affected during his two-year spell at Celtic Park.
The 41-year-old stepped down at the end of last season after winning a second consecutive title, but a failure to qualify for the Champions League put him under pressure.
Deila told Norway’s NRK TV: “I could have a stressful thought like: ‘We have to win this weekend.’ I’d be soaked in sweat, my heart pounding and head aching. I could wake up at 4am and couldn’t fall asleep again. I almost got social anxiety, It became a question of values: can you do this for the rest of your life?”
Deila admits he underestimated the role when he left Norwegian champions Stromsgodset to replace Neil Lennon. “But I’d take the challenge at Celtic a thousand times again,” he added. “With hindsight I see I didn’t have a chance to understand how big Celtic is. We have 10 million fans, play 60 games a season. You have to win all the time. One loss leads to unrest, two a disaster and three, you are fired. It’s almost at that level.”
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic could face more stress tomorrow as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi looks set to overcome a bug and face them in the Champions League. Messi missed Barca’s 0-0 draw against Malaga on Saturday, but trained yesterday.
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