Metzelder pleased to avoid Barca

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Football News

Schalke defender Christoph Metzelder has declared he would prefer to be playing Manchester United on Tuesday night 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.

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

He added: "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 Schalke manager Ralf 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 on Tuesday and at Old Trafford. In England you don't get situations where the fans whistle in displeasure. It is real support."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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