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'None of this Neymar nonsense!' - WWE star Drew McIntyre weighs in on the Old Firm derby

21:55 GMT+4 01/09/2018
Drew McIntyre
He was never allowed to attend the famous clashes when he was a kid - interesting given the profession the 6ft 6in chap ended up in...

Sunday marks the biggest occasion in Scottish football: the Old Firm derby. Celtic vs Rangers. The big one.

Ahead of the country's most famous match-up, Goal sat down with WWE star Drew McIntyre to talk of his love for Rangers, why Steven Gerrard is the perfect manager for the job and 'Neymar's nonsense' wouldn't be tolerated under the Ibrox side's new regime.

Goal: With the Old Firm derby coming up, what's it like being the underdog?

DM: "It's not just about being a Rangers fan, it's just great to see us rally back after such a hard time and many unfortunate incidents – and it was nothing to do with what was going on on the pitch which is even more annoying.

"But everyone loves an underdog story and more importantly it's good for Scottish football. 

"That was my primary concern at the beginning, it was just 'let's not ruin Scottish football'. All the teams are going to suffer when all the big money pulls out."

Goal: Was it a surprise when Steven Gerrard was appointed manager?

DM: "When I saw him attached to Rangers I thought 'that's perfect!'. We need somebody who's just going to be like a hard man to everybody, just drill back into them the Rangers spirit.

"You know, I think we were... what's a nice way to put it? Not playing like we should be, that's for sure, and holding back. 

"He's not going to have anybody hold him back, he's going to have everybody playing to the best of their ability, going to have everybody not holding back. Just that true Rangers spirit. 

"If you don't have the true Rangers spirit, if you're not willing to give it all on the pitch, none of this Neymar nonsense, then he's going to boot you off the team and that's the guy we need."

Goal: Have you been to an Old Firm derby?

DM: "I've never been to an Old Firm derby, I wasn't allowed to go when I was younger, which was very upsetting. But my parents were a bit worried about the possibility of fighting going on."

Goal: Ironic compared to what you do now...

DM: "Yeah, I mean it's funny the job I ended up in, but they were a bit worried. 

"We're from Ayr and obviously Glasgow was seen as the rough place. Then Rangers against Celtic was seen as the very, very rough place. 

"So I was never actually allowed to go and now that I'm able to go as an adult, I've been gone for like 11 years in America – which is why I talk with this funny accent, everybody!

"Everyone in Scotland always makes fun of it. People in England don't really notice, people around the world don't really notice, but yes, people in Scotland, I talk with half an American accent. So that everyone can understand us, because we have such a thick accent.

"Very difficult accent to understand, the Scottish accent."

Goal: Why is the Old Firm rivalry so intense?

DM: "It's a way of life. For a lot of people you're growing up as a Rangers fan or as a Celtic fan. You know that's your team and you live and die by your team. And when it comes to your rival, that's when the passion reaches crazy heights.

"In the past it was obviously kind of embarrassing, the reason for the rivalry, but these days I think it's more about the football more than anything else, which I'm a lot happier about.

"It's more about just love for the team than anything else off the pitch. So that's a very good thing."