Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla has admitted he can’t wait to try and get one over Rangers boss Steven Gerrard after admitting the former Liverpool man was something of a role model to him.
The veteran midfielder returned to his former club after a six-year stint with the Gunners and looks set to make his second European debut for the club in Thursday’s Europa League match against the Glaswegians.
Cazorla says he was lucky enough to come up against his idol when the two were with Arsenal and Liverpool respectively – and the 33-year-old admits he is relishing the chance to see the Champions League winner again.
“Gerrard is a role model for me and always has been, so it’s special to face him again,” Cazorla said.
“I was lucky to come up against him when he was at Liverpool. He’s someone I have always admired and wish him all the luck as a manager but just no against us!
“It is nice for me to be back playing in Europe because my last match was in the Champions League two years ago, and that was a long time!
“It is special too to be here with Villarreal, a club with whom I have enjoyed so much and the task now is to progress through a tricky group.
“We need a good start against Rangers and we know how difficult Scottish sides are – very aggressive and direct.”