Rangers ace Ferguson says win is highlight of career

Barry Ferguson says the Uefa Cup semi-final win over Fiorentina is the greatest moment of his career.

Even though the Rangers skipper missed his penalty in the shoot-out, Neil Alexander saved from Fabio Liverani and Christian Vieri blasted over, before Nacho Novo converted the decisive spot-kick.

The 4-2 penalties triumph after both legs ended goalless secures a meeting with former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat's Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester on 14th May.

"This is the best night of my career - apart from missing the penalty!" beamed a delighted Ferguson.

"It's all down to the spirit of the boys and it's the best I've ever played with.

"We're in the final and it's scary but we just have to enjoy the occasion. It's a massive occasion.


"I never, ever thought I would reach a European final."

The Gers skipper was keen to pay tribute to boss Walter Smith for the remarkable transformation he has masterminded since his return to the Ibrox helm in January 2007, after the club had been left in disarray by the ill-fated 200-day rein of Paul Le Guen.

"I've said from day one that the club was a bit of a disaster and Walter has come in and changed it all," said Ferguson.

The midfielder is now relishing the prospect of a Uefa Cup final against a side bossed by Advocaat, the man who first handed Ferguson the captain's armband.

Ferguson said: "I won't speak to him before the game but hopefully I will speak to him afterwards when we have won the cup."

Meanwhile, Novo relived the moment his goal sealed a place in the UEFA Cup final - Rangers' first European final since lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup back in 1972.

"I felt very little and I knew everyone in the stadium was watching me," he said. "I had a very good goalkeeper in front of me but I kept my cool.


"Everyone worked really hard and Fiorentina are a great team but we are through.

"We know that Zenit St Petersburg are a good team and we know Advocaat from his time at Rangers and also my old team-mate Fernando Ricksen.

"But it doesn't worry me and I think our support is going to be unbelievable."

Rangers remain in the hunt for a historic quadruple, but Novo insisted: "We are just going to enjoy the night first and then look forward to Sunday's game against Hibs.

"Then we will see what happens."