Having picked up a UEFA Champions League winners' medal on his last trip to Glasgow, Valencia CF keeper César Sánchez hopes to "create more good memories" away against Rangers FC.
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Valencia CF goalkeeper César Sánchez has fond memories of Glasgow. His last outing in Scotland's largest city yielded a UEFA Champions League winners' medal, when he started for Real Madrid CF in their 2002 final triumph against Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Hampden Park – and now eight years later and five kilometres away at Ibrox, he is hoping for another successful outcome as his current side visit Rangers FC in Group C.
"I have very good memories of this place," said the former Spain international, whose team lie a point behind Rangers and Manchester United FC in third. "Hopefully, we can create more good memories against Rangers. We want a positive result to ensure we progress from the group."
César was impressed by the hair-raising Hampden atmosphere that evening and anticipates a similar ambience on Matchday 3. However, the 39-year-old goalkeeper insists he and his Valencia team-mates must embrace it, rather than allowing it to diminish their powers.
"The atmosphere in the final was incredible and we know this is a very special place to play," César added. "A couple of our players were here last week when Spain faced Scotland [in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying] and they said it was fantastic. It is something special here, but it doesn't have to be a negative for us. We have to try to impose our style on the game and, in fact, the atmosphere can have the opposite effect; it can put pressure on the home side.
"I like to be positive," a typically upbeat César continued, before underlining the potential importance of the fixture as the teams approach the midway stage of the group phase. "We have come here to get a good result and make life as easy as possible. It's another big game for us and we are ready, but we must also be careful. This competition is like a sprint. If you make a mistake in the group stage, you may not have the chance to put it right."
While Rangers are undefeated this term, Valencia are seeking to rectify a rare blip in their own form following a 2-1 Liga defeat at FC Barcelona on Saturday. However, César chose to extract only positives from that loss. He said: "For 45 minutes, we controlled the game at the home of possibly the best club side in the world. Perhaps we let our concentration slip in the second half, but I believe this team is moving in the right direction."