I had an early start on Monday morning with a trip to Edinburgh airport to catch a flight to Dublin, and from there on to Barcelona and then Granada. From here, I will be taking a train to Seville.
As a lifelong Rangers fan, I could not miss out on the chance of seeing them play in a European final. Having only had confirmation that I could get a ticket last Thursday, it was too late to book a direct flight as they had already all been snapped up. Even trying to fly to a neighbouring airport was prohibitively expensive, such was the demand.
Hence the convoluted route to get here, although I know many fans have been making even more involved journeys. Supporters are coming from all parts of the world – often at considerable expense – for this once in a lifetime game.
Many do not even have tickets, but have travelled just for the atmosphere and the experience. In total, some 100,000 Rangers fans are expected to be in Seville – an extraordinary two per cent of the entire Scottish population.
If any team deserves to win this trophy, it is this Rangers side. There are been some fabulous performances in Europe this season, knocking out higher rated opponents such as Borussia Dortmund and Leipzig, with the latter victory being achieved without a recognised striker in the team.
Whatever the result tonight, it has been a remarkable run for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s team. It is 150 years since the club was founded, and 50 years since Rangers last won a European trophy – the Cup Winners’ Cup in Barcelona in 1972.
We have been through a difficult period over the last decade, having to fight our way back up the leagues before winning the Premiership last season.
Have the stars aligned for another Scottish European triumph? I will be keeping everything crossed.
Murdo Fraser is a Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife