Schalke would rather play Manchester United than Barcelona claims Christoph Metzelder

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder has declared he would prefer to be playing Manchester United tonight than Barcelona.

Although United start their 12th European Cup semi-final as favourites to reach the final at Wembley on May 28, history suggests they will not have it easy.

Twice the Red Devils have fallen to German opposition at this stage during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign and despite their poor form in the Bundesliga, Schalke's five-goal hammering of Inter Milan earlier this month indicates they are worthy challengers.

And Metzelder knows United are not quite the force of old despite their presence at the top of the Premier League.

"Every nation might have its likes and its dislikes but I know we would not have liked to play against Barcelona," said Metzelder.

"But we have to be realistic. We will not score five against Manchester United.

"They are a very disciplined team, who do not let you have the opportunity to score goals. It will be two very tight games."

The game has particular significance for Rangnick as it takes the 52-year-old back to his youth.

As a student in the late 1970s, he spent a year at Sussex University, regularly travelling to London to fulfil a lifelong passion with the beautiful game, either by watching Tottenham or Arsenal.

Occasionally, he would venture to the Goldstone Ground, which at the time housed a Brighton side good enough to hold their own in England's highest league.

"It was a wonderful feeling to see the support for everything," he said.

"I am looking forward to the atmosphere, both tomorrow and at Old Trafford. In England you don't get situations where the fans whistle in displeasure. It is real support."

However, Rangnick is not so starstruck as to be deflected from a path to glory.

And, rather than view the position as a negative, the Schalke coach views his side's relative inexperience as a pretty significant positive.

"Sir Alex Ferguson has more experience and has won many more trophies," he observed.

"Manchester United do have a very experienced team, on average three to four years older than ours.

"But maybe the fact we are more inexperienced means we are a really hungry team with more passion.

"It is something that makes this match all the more alluring for our team.

"Our players are in this position for the first time, with the exception of Raul, who might be there for the last time.

"We have to show what we can achieve and get the best out of it, so hopefully, this will be a benefit for us."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
people
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor