BRENDAN RODGERS has revealed his greatest wish is to leave a lasting legacy in Glasgow which would see a new and friendlier rivalry between the supporters of Celtic and Rangers.

The Northern Irishman, who was brought up in County Antrim, used the example of how his own country emerged from the Troubles to find peace and relative understanding following three decades of bloodshed.

Rodgers has been in Scotland long enough to gauge for himself that the hatred between some supporters is all too real and sectarianism, even in an increasingly secular society, remains a serious problem particularly whenever the two sides meet.

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The Celtic manager did not claim to have all the answers but believes things can change for the better given the incredible changes Northern Ireland has gone through from his own childhood at the height of the killings to today.

Rodgers said: “I would hope I could promote a new rivalry. Guys like myself, growing up where I grew up and the episodes that went on over many years, means I have always hoped that I could promote, if I came into this job, that it’s okay to be a mad, passionate Rangers supporter and love the club.

It’s actually alright as well to be a passionate Celtic supporter and live wherever and have that real intense rivalry. Be from Northern Ireland, Glasgow or wherever. But you can be together, live together and have a closeness.

“Okay, you might need to separate on match-day or whatever, but that's alright. For too long, there has been a rivalry there that, for different reasons, for political reasons, which held us back certainly why I was from, for many, many years

“If I can be an advocate of the other side to that, the positive side to that, I would see that as my job. That would be the best one for me.

“That’s why I say titles and all of that are great, but there are other things and I always look at human factors and human needs. What else I can do and influence. That’s equally as important."

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Intense rivalry can be found anywhere in football but the divide between Celtic and Rangers has never been anything than bitter to a large section of both support.

Rodgers's enjoys meeting Rangers supporters in the street and has had no major issues to content with, which has not always been the case for previous managers and players.

And his message would be if there can be a coming together from both sides of the Troubles then surely football fans can somehow get along.

“Ultimately, it’s about behaviour,” said Rodgers. “If you can behave in a way where you can be passionate about your team, but you have got to respect your opponents always.

“We live together in peace, which is important. It is much better. Hopefully it grows year on year, it’s important. As the generations go through, it’s important that it does.

“It’s a big change at home. It’s a different world to one I grew up in and the one I have been around, yeah. That’s what you want. These are important elements, I feel. As well as the professional element.”

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Rodgers encountered fierce rivalry during his time on Merseyside but admitted that does not remotely compare to where he finds himself now.

“The cities of Liverpool and Glasgow are different,” he said. “There is a big Irish contingent in both. What I would say is that that on Merseyside, you can have two teams doing well and that’s alright. It’s nice and it’s a real vibrant city.

“It’s always seemed to me from the outside and now having been in here that one has to be doing really well and the other can’t. I don’t know why that is.

“What I experienced at Liverpool in the season we finished runners-up, we were on a really great season and Everton were having a really good season. It was Roberto Martinez’s first and they finished fifth, while we were second.

“The city was vibrant. There was good rivalry there, but it was okay. I don’t think that’s quite the same here. I don’t think it really equates to being that way. But you just have to make sure you are on the good side.”