Beattie relishing Old Trafford trip

12 September 2010 11:36
Rangers striker James Beattie is relishing the prospect of facing Manchester United in the Champions League next week.[LNB] Rangers travel to Old Trafford on Tuesday for their opening game of the group stages.[LNB]The 'Battle of Britain' clash is a mouth-watering prospect and Beattie admits that this sort of game is one of the reasons why he opted to move to Ibrox from Stoke this summer.[LNB]"The fact Rangers would be playing in the Champions League was obviously pointed out to me when I was signing. It was something that was very important to me," he told the News of the World.[LNB]"When the draw was made, I was sitting with Vladimir Weiss and there were pots with Real Madrid, Inter, Manchester United and Valencia and we both said we would settle for any of them.[LNB]"To be playing Champions League football at my age is very good and it is something I am looking forward to very much.[LNB]"I played in the UEFA Cup with Southampton, then played and scored in the Champions League qualifiers with Everton against Villarreal.[LNB]"But we were knocked out in the return leg in controversial circumstances when referee Pierluigi Collina disallowed a perfectly good Duncan Ferguson goal.[LNB]"But going to Old Trafford in the Champions League will be that extra bit special[LNB]"I have played United there nine times now but I still haven't scored at Old Trafford, which has been pointed out to me.[LNB]"I've hit the bar a couple of times, once on my birthday, and I hit it again playing for England there - ironically enough against Liechtenstein.[LNB]"That England game was the only time I've won at Old Trafford. I played alongside Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen yet we were still drawing 0-0 with Liechtenstein after an hour.[LNB]"Fortunately we went on to win 2-0. Scotland discovered for themselves how difficult it can be if teams come and just sit in against you and make themselves hard to break down.[LNB]"It's something you probably see a lot at Ibrox and I'm going to experience for myself.[LNB]"I even heard a story about a Scottish team coming to play Rangers and setting themselves up in a 4-6-0 formation but I haven't seen that for myself yet!"[LNB]Beattie himself was once very strongly linked with a move to United, when in the 2003 season he finished as the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League with Southampton.[LNB]"I heard a few years ago, when I was doing well at Southampton, that Sir Alex was maybe having a look at me, but that was about it really," he continued.[LNB]"I think they went out and signed Cristiano Ronaldo instead![LNB]"I was only a goal or two away from winning the Premiership's Golden Boot award that year so perhaps there was something in it.[LNB]"There was Ruud van Nistelrooy, Thierry Henry and then me all trying to finish as the Premiership's top scorer, so it wasn't bad company to be keeping.[LNB]"I went on to sign for Everton but I used to drive past Old Trafford quite a lot because I lived in Manchester, and still have my house there.[LNB]"I would always look across to Old Trafford and have a little thought to myself.[LNB]"I'm from Blackburn and a Blackburn fan. But when I was a youngster, Manchester United were always the biggest team and the one that you grew up in the playground wanting to play for.[LNB]"Then when you're older and have been playing football for a while, you can't help imagining it must be a special place to play your football."

Source: Team_Talk