Jota: Celtic qualifying for the Champions League is key to a permanent signing | Soccer News

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Jota has revealed the key role Champions League football played in his decision to sign for Celtic on a permanent deal.

The 23-year-old moved to Glasgow on loan from Benfica last season and scored 13 goals to help the Hoops to a Premiership and Premier Sports Cup double.

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Celtic winger Jota has signed a permanent contract after feeling at home at the club as he relishes the chance to experience ‘special’ Champions League nights.

It was Ange Postecoglou’s first season as Celtic boss and the reward for the title win was a place in the Champions League group stage.

After weeks of speculation over his future, Jota has signed a five-year contract with Celtic for a reported £6.4million and at his Parkhead press conference he spoke candidly about the importance of football in the Champions League.

He said: “The Champions League is probably the best club competition in the world.

“Of course it’s always a trigger for a player to come and play in the Champions League, we have to be honest about that and I’m no exception.

“It’s something I really like and everyone kept saying to me, ‘Jota, this is something special, so you better stay at Celtic’.

“I already made my Champions League debut with Benfica.

Jota helped Celtic win the Scottish Premiership title after being loaned out by Benfica
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Jota helped Celtic win the Scottish Premiership title after being loaned out by Benfica

“I know the atmosphere and the feeling but every club is different so here it will be different.”

Jota also spoke about the “incredible” experience he had last season as part of his return to Glasgow.

He said: “The club speaks for itself and the experience I had last season was amazing, so it was an easy choice to make.

“I’m really happy to stay here, it’s what I wanted and I can’t wait to develop more in the team and to conquer a lot of things.

“There’s no point where you blink and think, ‘yes, now I’m going to stay.’ It was just natural.

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Jota scored 13 goals for Celtic last season

“During the week, the months, the year, I was like ‘okay, I should stay here’ and I’m really happy.

“I said to myself, ‘I feel good, I feel at home, this is the right place to develop, so let’s go.'”

For the Celtic fans who took him to heart and are delighted to hear the news of his signing, Jota said: “I’m just trying to do my thing on the pitch, that’s why I’m here.

“And what I can promise is that I will fight every day to honor the colors of the club and to fight for things, to be a better player and a better person because I want to achieve a lot of things.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Celtic's Jota (L) and Rangers' Calvin Bassey during a Cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on February 02, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group)
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The winger impressed during his loan spell at Celtic

Jota also had a message for his former club Benfica, which he joined as a youngster in 2007.

He said: “It was quite a nostalgic moment for me because I had been there for 15 years. It was like a child leaving home and leaving his parents.

“I guess it’s like (Kieran) Tierney going to Arsenal (from Celtic), everyone kept telling me ‘yes, he left the house’ and the same goes for me.

“I’m a bit nostalgic about it because I really love Benfica and my story with them will continue and I’m not going to say goodbye because I know one day I’ll be back.

“But I’m more than happy to join Celtic and that’s what I really wanted, so I’m 100 per cent here now and doing my best.”

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