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By ESPN Staff

Gers' Ferguson targeting 'biggest achievement'

Barry Ferguson has won every domestic honour possible with Rangers and has even had a crack at the Premier League with Blackburn.

But the Ibrox skipper admits that securing a place in the UEFA Cup final would eclipse everything else he has achieved in what has been a successful career so far.

Ninety minutes of football against Fiorentina are all that stands between Ferguson and his dream of facing either Bayern Munich or Zenit St Petersburg in next month's climax in Manchester.

After a goalless first leg at Ibrox last week, it is now winner takes all in the return match in Florence.

'If we win tomorrow night, it will probably be my best achievement in football,' said Ferguson, who was suspended for the stalemate in Glasgow.

'I've won a lot of things, I've played against some great teams and some great players. But that would be my greatest achievement.

'We are excited and nervous as well. We are 90 minutes away from being in a UEFA Cup final.

'It's the first time for myself and most of the boys. I think only Brahim (Hemdani) has reached a major European final.

'So all the boys are excited and looking forward to the game.'

Ferguson will conduct his usual team-talk in the away dressing room of the Artemio Franchi Stadium tomorrow night but insists it is one speech that will not be necessary.

He added: 'I think the guys understand how big a game it is.

'The last time Rangers played in a European final was more than 30 years ago.

'The guys in the dressing room are not daft, they know how big a game it is and everybody is ready for it.'

Bitter rivals Celtic reached the UEFA Cup final back in 2003, losing to Jose Mourinho's Porto, and Ferguson has called for the whole country to support Walter Smith's men in their quest to go all the way.

'I would like to think the whole of Scotland is behind us,' he said.

'I'm sure some people won't want us to go through but I'm hoping the vast majority of people will be right behind us and that we get into the final.'

It has been a remarkable run for a Rangers team who parachuted into the UEFA Cup after crashing out of the Champions League despite some decent results against Barcelona, Lyon and Stuttgart.

But not everyone appreciates Smith's particular brand of European football.

Lionel Messi accused Rangers of playing 'anti-football', while Adrian Mutu was unimpressed by the defensive tactics employed by the home team at Ibrox last week, claiming afterwards 'That was one ugly game of football.'

But Ferguson hit back, saying: 'To be honest, it doesn't bother me. It's up to other people to react to the way that we play.

'We have won one trophy already this season and we have been on a fantastic run in the league since October, apart from the last couple of games against Celtic.

'Now we are in the semi-final of the UEFA Cup so the gaffer and the team are certainly doing something right.

'The team, and everybody connected with the club, don't bother with what people say.'

Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen and Sporting Lisbon have already succumbed to Rangers in the UEFA Cup.

'We always believe,' added Ferguson. 'We have done ever so well away from home. Against Sporting Lisbon in the last game, I thought we dominated at times.

'Hopefully we can do the same tomorrow night.'