Rangers manager Steven Gerrard heads into tonight’s clash with Feyenoord at the De Kuip Stadium knowing full well that victory over former gaffer Dick Advocaat, if results elsewhere go our way, would secure our progression into the knockout stages of the competition for the first time.
We face our former gaffer and his new side out in Rotterdam, and not only is confidence high given how we are pushing Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premiership table, but we also took a 1-0 victory over them when we welcomed the side (then managed by Jaap Stam) to Ibrox earlier in the season.
The game will undoubtedly be different this time around and it won’t carry the emotion of the first leg given the sad passing of Fernando Ricksen, but naturally, Advocaat’s involvement this time adds spice for differing reasons.
Especially as our former gaffer was the man who brought Ricksen to the club back in 2000, before then also taking him to Zenit St Petersburg six years later. They knew each other well, as proven by his words about our legend when speaking to the BBC ahead of the game.
“To speak about him is still difficult. He was a guy who fought so hard to stay alive for his family. I brought him first to Rangers and he is a legend there. After that he had some problems and I brought him to Zenit, and he became a legend there as well but in a different way. For me he was a really great guy and always honest. Even when he had a dark side as well. I feel very sorry for his family.”