Angel Rangel is bracing himself for a “difficult” day when he returns to Swansea City in a Queens Park Rangers shirt this weekend.
Rangel is hoping to shake off a groin problem in order to be fit to feature at the Liberty Stadium, the ground he called home for 11 years.
The 35-year-old said farewell to the Swans when his contract expired in the summer having clocked up 374 appearances for the club.
Rangel will go down as one of the Swans’ all-time legends having helped the club win two promotions before playing a big part in their seven-year stint in the Premier League, as well as the victory in the 2012-13 Capital One Cup.
And he admits it will be a strange feeling as he gets set to step into the Liberty’s away dressing room.
“It’s going to be difficult coming back,” Rangel said.
“I’ve spent more than a third of my life in Swansea. My children were born in Swansea, I was married there and my home is there. The club means everything to me.
“I’ll be going there with a lot of emotions in the back of my mind and stepping on the field for a different club will be weird.
“But I’m going to try to be as focused as I can.
“I was a professional for Swansea for 11 years, defending the badge with all my heart. Now I have to do the same for my new club.”
Rangel joined the Swans in 2007 after being spotted playing semi-professional football in his native Spain.
The signing proved to be a masterstroke, with Rangel quickly proving he could adapt to English football.
A fine player and top-class professional, he was made club skipper in his latter days as a Swan.
And while he will be hoping for a Rangers victory on Saturday, Rangel has been pleased to see his old club make a bright start to the season.
“I think Graham Potter has done well with such a young squad,” he added.
“You can see he is building a football philosophy. I’m still in touch with a few of the players at Swansea and they keep telling me how good he is as a coach.
“I know the Championship is a long season but, so far, Swansea are doing well.”
Rangel joined QPR in August, signing a short-term deal which runs until January.
He has made a positive impression at Loftus Road, helping Steve McClaren’s team to three wins and a draw in his five appearances for the club.
But he missed out as they were beaten at home by Norwich last weekend because of a groin problem, with McClaren explaining that they did not want to take any risks with Rangel’s fitness.
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