Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla has noted Glasgow Rangers boss Steven Gerrard as his ‘role model’ ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash.
Cazorla came up against Gerrard directly as a player when the two were with Arsenal and Liverpool respectively, while now the former Reds midfielder is in the dugout for Rangers.
“Gerrard is a role model for me and always has been, so it’s special to face him again,” Cazorla told reporters on Wednesday ahead of Villarreal hosting the Glasgow side.
“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.”