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Celtic v Rangers: Skipper Lee Wallace aims to emulate Celtic

By Andy Newport

Published 21/10/2016

Big plans: Lee Wallace would love to help Rangers get back into Europe
Big plans: Lee Wallace would love to help Rangers get back into Europe

Rangers skipper Lee Wallace admits he has cast an envious eye at Celtic's Champions League group and still has not given up hope it will be his side running out on Europe's biggest stage next term.

Gers' Old Firm rivals landed themselves a £20million windfall when they were drawn alongside Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach in Group C.

It may be a so-called group of death for the Scottish champions but the glamour ties have whipped the Parkhead faithful into an excited frenzy.

And while the Hoops have been taking on some of the biggest stars in world football, the Light Blues captain admits he has been watching the competition wishing it was him.

Reaching the promised land of the Champions League still appears to be a distant dream for Wallace and his team-mates - who face Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday - as they trail their foes by seven points having played a game more.

But the Scotland defender is nothing if not ambitious.

He said: "I'm watching Barcelona-Manchester City last night and of course there is envy there. You want to be playing at those levels. That's why I came to this club. That's why a number of guys have signed for this club. As a Rangers player that's where you want to be.

"But we know how we're going to get there. It will take hard work but hopefully this time next season we're in a similar position."

Had Wallace tuned into Celtic's 2-0 loss to Gladbach on Wednesday night, he would have been given some useful pointers ahead of Sunday's semi-final.

The Bundesliga side gave Celtic a lesson in one-touch football while managing to quell the threats posed by the likes of Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair and Kieran Tierney.

Wallace's side could certainly do with some help handling Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers' rampant Hoops after last month's 5-1 Parkhead thrashing.

Gers will revisit some more painful memories when they run out at Hampden this weekend.

Their last visit ended amid chaotic scenes when they were forced to flee the National Stadium as shameful scenes of violence broke out in the wake of their Scottish Cup final defeat to Hibernian.

"It was disappointing the last time we were there but credit to Hibs, they were fully deserving of their win," said Wallace.

"But we're going to be stronger for that experience."

Belfast Telegraph

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