YOU need, as many expensive foreign signings of whom great things were expected have discovered to their cost, to be mentally strong as well as an outstanding footballer in order to succeed at Celtic.

Yet, the eagerness of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, the Belgian left back who signed for the Glasgow club in a £3m transfer from Rapid Vienna last week, to test himself in the Champions League once again suggests he will not, unlike a few of his predecessors, wilt under the weight of expectation.

The 24-year-old’s experiences of Europe’s premier club competition to date in his career have hardly been resounding successes. In fact, he has lost all five of the games he has been involved in. But the chance to play at that rarefied level again was one of the major attractions in moving to Scotland.

He was helpless to prevent his first club Brugge from slumping to a 7-1 aggregate defeat to Manchester United in the two-legged play-off back in 2015 when he was aged just 20.

The following year he featured in group stage losses to Porto at home and away as well as a defeat to Copenhagen at home as the Jan Breydel Stadium club finished bottom of their section without a single point.

However, Bolingoli, who has since played in the Europa League against Napoli and Legia Warsaw with Brugge and Rangers, Villarreal, Spartak Moscow and Inter Milan with Rapid, is older and more experienced now and is relishing the prospect of sampling the Champions League once more.

Neil Lennon’s men will get their quest to reach the group stages underway in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday evening when they take on Sarajevo in the first leg of the first qualifying round – a tie which their new arrival is eligible to play in having been signed before the UEFA deadline on Thursday.

They will have to successfully negotiate no fewer than eight matches to achieve their aim due to Scotland’s poor coefficient. Their third acquisition of the close season, though, is undeterred by the daunting prospect. Quite the opposite in fact.

“I have two feelings about playing in the Champions League before,” he said. “There was a bad feeling because we finished up with zero points, we didn’t win a game. We played against Porto, Copenhagen and Leicester City.

“But there was good feeling as well because it is always a victory for every player to play in the Champions League. It is amazing to have that experience in my career, to play in that tournament.

"I played against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a qualifier also and that was a great experience. To be a young footballer playing at that stadium was amazing. I also played in the home leg. That was a nice experience despite the result.

"I was very happy to start my career as a professional career at Brugge when I was 15. I had a great experience there. But at some point you have to make a decision about what is best for your career.

"I made my decision to leave the club and go to Rapid Vienna and go to the next stage in my career. I had a great two years there. Every year I have grown and learned and become a better player. Let’s hope I can do the same thing here at Celtic.”

Bolingoli added: “Everybody loves the Champions League and I can’t wait to have that second chance again with Celtic. Hopefully we can do something great with Celtic.

“I was very young when I played in the Champions League before and I learned a lot. But every day you learn a lot. When I played in the Champions League with Brugge I didn’t have so many minutes of first team football. At that moment it wasn’t easy to play.

“There were a lot of good players. I was young and needed to wait until my moment came. But now I have become a man. My moment is here and hopefully I can play in the Champions League with Celtic.

“Celtic is a famous club so I have seen some highlights. It was nice to see how crazy the fans were and how they won games. I also saw them play against Barcelona and PSG in the Champions League.

“There was a great atmosphere in the stadium. I can’t wait to play in the stadium and feel the fans behind me. That can only motivate you to give them something back.”

Bolingoli was involved in both of Rapid’s games against Rangers in the Europa League – they lost 3-1 at Ibrox in the first in October but won the rematch 1-0 in the Allianz Stadium in December to clinch a place against Inter in the knockout rounds.

The defender appreciates the next meeting with the Govan club, who are confident of launching a stronger challenge for silverware in the 2019/20 campaign after strengthening significantly in the summer, he takes part in as a Celtic player will be an altogether different experience.

Again, the fixture holds no fears for him. He played in the Weiner derby in Vienna – the third most played city derby in Europe after the Glasgow and Edinburgh derbies – during his two seasons in Austria and feels it has prepared him for what he will encounter.

“I have played in some Rapid Vienna matches against Austria Vienna,” he said. “They can be pretty crazy, but I think that over here they are even more crazy.

“The Celtic games against Rangers are famous. In every country the derby games are different. Rangers are always going to do everything they can to win the game, but for Celtic the game is important also.

“I have played against Rangers before and I think the Scottish league will be a tough league, not an easy league. I think it will take my time to adapt to the league, but once I do that I think I will be alright and can show my qualities.”

He will certainly be comfortable in his new strip – the green and white Celtic shirt is almost identical to the one he wore at Rapid Vienna.

“This is a new challenge for me and I am happy that I have made this choice,” he said. “But I haven’t changed the colour, it is the same colour.”