Europa League: Glasgow Rangers back on top

Europa League: Glasgow Rangers back on top

#Europa #League #Glasgow #Rangers #top

A great club never falls into oblivion. You may stumble, but you will always get up. This is the case of the Glasgow Rangers, holders, with their 55 Scottish championship titles, of the world record for national championships won. Having also collected 27 Scottish League Cups and 33 Scottish Cups, The Gers are an absolute reference in their country, but also throughout the United Kingdom, because Rangers are the first British club to reach a European final. It was in 1961 when they fell to Fiorentina in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. He also won this trophy in 1972 against Dynamo Moscow, after losing for the second time in the 1967 final (against Bayern).

What’s next after this announcement?

a fallen leader

Accompanied by their loyal fans who are always ready to return to the mythical and incandescent Ibrox Park -which, for the record, brought together 118,567 people on February 2, 1939 during the Old Firm against Celtic, a record for a British Championship game-, the Light Blues could not prevent, despite this national and international pedigree accumulated over a long history, the club’s relegation to the fourth division due to excessive debts to the British tax authorities. Sent to play via the Highlands just a few years after playing but losing to Zenith St. Petersburg in a UEFA Cup final, the forerunner of the Europa League, Rangers wasted no time in their quest for the lost glory.

Logically, before embarking on an incredible climb, you have to be at the foot of the mountain. The Rangers thus fell from their peak in a way that was as sudden as it was extreme. Indeed, the problems began seriously during the 2011-2012 season, when the club had accumulated colossal debts, up to 166 million euros, including 115 with the British Treasury. In February 2012, Rangers applied for receivership, but following liquidation, asset sales and a rejected consortium, The Gers, who had only known the Premier League since joining in 1890, were sent, after a vote of 25 of the 30 professional clubs, in the fourth division of Scottish football.

An express upload

Starting the 2012-2013 season in League Two with a draft ban, the Teddy Bears, nickname given for the rhyme with the word Rangers pronounced with a Scottish accent, managed to build a competitive workforce. While only three players agreed to accompany the club from D1 to D4, the team was made up of club-bred youngsters, out-of-contract players who wanted to re-launch their careers, or club lovers who wanted to help it return to its former glory. . The first two seasons went off without a hitch as the club secured two successive promotions thanks to a higher level of play than their rivals, and the ever-unfailing support of the Glaswegians, who approached 50,000 at Ibrox for a D3 match. . A world record.

After being beaten in the promotion race by Heart of Midlothian in their first season in the Scottish Championship (D2), Rangers the following season became the first Scottish club to win the title in the top four divisions. He thus returned to the elite at the end of the 2015-2016 season, after four years of absence. The first two years were correct: the club finished each time on the third step of the podium. However, rivals Glasgow Celtic continued to largely dominate the debates. Aware that something had to change to promote a new cycle, the board then placed Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard on its bench. Thanks to his aura, the former midfielder managed to convince veteran players like Jon Flanagan and Jermain Defoe to join him in the south of Scotland.

back on his throne

After finishing second in the championship in his first season on the bench, the current Aston Villa manager saw his second term slowed down by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Championship was stopped and never resumed, leaving Rangers to finish the season once again in second place behind Celtic. However, the Bhoys’ hegemony came to an end the following season, during the 2020-2021 financial year. Indeed, despite being behind closed doors all season, Rangers had an incredible exercise in which they did not lose a single game, although they did not manage to repeat the feat of 1899 and 100% wins. Led in particular by Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe, Ianis Hagi, son of Gheorghe, the Maradona of the Carpathians, and by their captain and very attacking right-back, James Tavernier, the Gers finished the championship 25 points clear of their rivals.

While Celtic regained their crown this season, Rangers focused on the European Cup, which could have been the Champions League had they beaten Malmö in the third qualifying round. After eliminating Armenian club Alashkert Yerevan in the play-offs, the Scots found themselves in Group A of the Europa League alongside Lyon, Sparta Prague and Brondby. After losing their first two games against the French and the Czechs, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s men, who arrived in November to replace Gerrard who left for Aston Villa, managed to finish second in their group thanks in particular to wins against Prague. and Brondby. .

the european epic

When in 2007-2008, The Light and Blues were drafted into the UEFA Cup after finishing third in the Champions League behind FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais, they then successively eliminated Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen, Sporting Portugal and Fiorentina to reach the final against the Zenith Saint. Petersburg. This season, her journey has been just as beautiful. Without losing a home game in the knockout phase, they eliminated Dortmund in the round of 16 after a great victory at Signal Iduna Park in the first leg (2-4), before successively defeating Red Star Belgrade and Sporting Braga after a defeat in the first leg against the Portuguese. Defender Leon Balogun also revealed after the win against BVB: “With this relegation, we know what people have endured here, they defend their club, no matter the conditions.”

Facing German Leipzig in the semi-finals, Rangers lost (1-0) in the first leg but completely reversed the trend when they returned to Ibrox Park once again ready to explode (3-1). They will thus meet a third German club this season, Eintracht Frankfurt, in the final for a repeat of the 1960 Champions Clubs Cup half won by the Germans. Winger Ryan Kent, at the club since 2019, said skysports the mood that drives your team: “This trip was a great fight, every year we wanted to progress more than the previous year and we achieved it by reaching the final. We will approach this match with the same state of mind that has animated us throughout the competition. We’ve faced top level rivals and nothing changes until the final”. The goal is announced: leave Seville with the second European title in the club’s history to satisfy all its loyal fans.

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