My tribe

Villarreal striker Rossi excited by Celtic clash

Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi is looking forward to making his Champions League debut against Celtic this week.

"Like most people who love football I know Celtic and Rangers are the two best teams in Scotland and battle it out for the title every year," Rossi told the Sunday Mail.

"When I was 14 or 15 and at Parma I had a satellite TV channel that showed games from all over the world.

"I can still remember an Old Firm derby being shown and I was captured by the passion of everyone involved - it was a joy to watch.

"There was a real willingness to win the game on both sides and the pace was incredible.

"I know the fans are so passionate and it doesn't matter if it's at El Madrigal or Parkhead - they will still turn out in big numbers and make tremendous noise. Celtic have great history and are a world renowned club. In recent years they have done well in the Champions League so we know what to expect.

"It's going to be tough on Tuesday but it will be an even bigger challenge for us when we go to Parkhead for the final group game in December because of the atmosphere.

"I was out on loan at Newcastle when Manchester United played Celtic so I didn't experience those matches.

"This is a huge game, it will be tough but a great one to play in. Everyone wants to sample the Champions League and it just adds to the occasion when you face a team with such history. I played two Champions League matches with Manchester United - a qualifier against Debrecen then a group match against Lille in 2005/06 when Villarreal were actually in our section.

"But taking on Celtic would be my debut in the competition with Villarreal which is why I'm so determined to make it hard for the manager to leave me out. I can't believe Celtic haven't won an away game in the Champions League after so many attempts but I just hope they don't end that run on Tuesday.

"I'd be happy for them to do it in the tie after ours even if it is against my old club. I had a great time at Old Trafford but I regard Manchester United as just another rival. I don't see it as between ourselves and them for top spot.

"I know that's how it looks on paper but sometimes these things don't happen so you must treat every game the same.

"Even if you're on a bad run as Celtic are you just forget about it and focus on the next match."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?