After his spectacular UEFA Champions League debut a fortnight ago, Rangers FC defender Madjid Bougherra is looking forward to taking on Sevilla FC strikers Frédéric Kanouté and Luis Fabiano.
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Madjid Bougherra is relishing the prospect of pitting his wits against Frédéric Kanouté and Luis Fabiano as Rangers FC prepare to take on Sevilla FC in Group G on Tuesday.
The Algerian international centre-back made an immediate impact on his UEFA Champions League debut a fortnight ago as his superb late equaliser earned a precious point at VfB Stuttgart. Speaking exclusively to uefa.com, Bougherra said his bow in European football's premier club competition lived up to all his expectations. "For a long time I've wanted to play in the Champions League; it's very different to club football," said the French-born Bougherra. "It's special, fantastic, the atmosphere is good and the quality of play is higher too. I was very happy with my goal. Some of my friends had driven six hours to see me and I was happy to reward them."
For the 26-year-old, who joined Rangers in 2008 from Charlton Athletic FC, the experience vindicated his decision to stay at Rangers this summer despite reported interest from Ligue 1 titleholders FC Girondins de Bordeaux. "Last year I felt very good here after winning the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup," Bougherra said. "Rangers are a big club and I knew there was more to do here. The Champions League was a big incentive to stay and although Bordeaux are also in the competition, I think my style is more suited to British football so I decided to continue my journey with Rangers."
Having tasted Champions League football, Bougherra is now eagerly anticipating his first European game at Ibrox against a Sevilla side who have fond memories of their last visit to Glasgow where they retained the UEFA Cup in 2007. Kanouté was on the scoresheet that evening at Hampden Park just as he was at the weekend in the Rojiblancos' 4-0 victory over Athletic Club and Bougherra expects a stern examination of his defensive credentials from the Mali striker and his Brazilian partner, Fabiano.
"There's no doubt that Kanouté and Fabiano are the danger men," he said. "They have very good movement and are especially good when they are in possession. We need to be patient, clever and stay together as a team. Playing as a team will be the key to get something out of this game. We are confident of getting a result and if we win we will be in a strong position to go through with two more games to come at home."