AIDEN McGEADY believes nothing in Russian football can come close to the atmosphere of an Old Firm derby.
Derbies in Moscow are tense affairs – a crowd of 68,000 saw McGeady score for Spartak against local rivals CSKA last month – but the Ireland international says the closest thing that comes close to the Old Firm in Russia is the Moscow derby, Spartak versus CSKA.
"There is a good atmosphere, a full stadium, passionate fans. But I can't compare that to the Glasgow derby. I am a Celtic fan and, to me, a derby with Rangers will always be something special," he said.
"I remember the 2007/08 season the best in terms of Old Firm games. At one stage, Rangers were seven, maybe even 10 points ahead of us.
"We had to win all of our remaining matches to win the league and two of them were against Rangers, and we won them both: 2-1 and 3-2.
"I especially remember the first win. (Shunsuke) Nakamura gave us the lead, they equalised and in the last minute Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored the winner."
He added: "The league in Russia is quite strong but no one player has made an impression on me like Ronaldinho, (Thierry) Henry and (Lionel) Messi for Barcelona when we played them in Glasgow (for Celtic, in 2008). That was the first time I saw Messi with my own eyes.
"He scored two goals and was a genius."