Rangers have reached the last four coveted among Europa Leaguebut face a formidable foe in their attempt to reach a fairy tale finale.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s the team clinched an unprecedented semi-final spot, but will have to conquer one of Europe’s slickest teams to reach Seville in May.
Rangers There have been odds piling up against them after an Abel Ruiz strike in Portugal last week put SC Braga in extreme position to usurp the Light Blues and end their European dreams.
Stepping in front of captain James Tavernier, who rocked Ibrox in less than two minutes, before a penalty just before half-time ensured the home side took the lead overall.
The Rangers then had to fight their way through Carlos Carvalhal’s men, after a late Braga celebratory in normal times seemed to bring the celebration to a halt.
Kemar Roofe was the hero in extra time to lead the Ibrox team into the last four of European competition for the first time since that historic 2008 UEFA Cup.
But standing in their way in a potential fairy-tale final is Germany’s RB Leipzig, and the prospect of a clash for the first time between the two would make for an unprecedented semi-final.
Fast sports considered several key elements of the German side:
Although the club was only founded in 2009, they have already made an impact across the continent, especially in recent years.
Just two years ago, the Bundesliga team was Champions League reached the semi-finals, ultimately losing to Paris Saint Germain.
This season, Domenico Tedesco’s men have walked out of Europe’s top flight, after holding the Parisians and now Manchester City to the semi-finals in the group stage.
However, their journey to the last four of the Europa League was greatly aided by the goodbye thanks to Spartak Moscow being dropped from the tournament by UEFA.
However, Red Bull’s outfit, led by star Christopher Nkunku, managed to outlast Italy’s Atalanta, who are considered a Champions League team.
There isn’t much silver in the cupboard in Saxony, but with the financial backing and quality talent like Timo Werner that the club have produced in recent years, it won’t be long before they conquer a Great European Cup.
Christopher Nkunku is possibly one of the best young players in the world right now.
The Frenchman has scored more than 30 goals for Leipzig this season in attacking midfield, scoring an impressive 17 goals in the Bundesliga alone.
The 24-year-old is also making waves on the continent with a total of 10 goals in the Champions League and Europa League.
The rising star was even awarded two caps for the French national team last month, despite competing with superstar Antoine Griezmann for a spot.
Nkunku played the role of a band on Thursday as he scored both crucial goals to knock out Atalanta and reach four finals in a sparkling performance.
Rangers will mark the attacker as a specific nuisance, and will have to overpower him if they have any chance of making it to the blockbuster finals.
Although very young in the European league, Leipzig has produced and nurtured some of the top players in the world in recent times.
And the German side have achieved this without paying sky-high transfer fees, despite claims of them ‘buying their way to the top’.
Midfielders like Marcel Sabitzer, currently playing for Bayern Munich, sold for just £1.4 million at the age of 20, while rising star defender Dayot Upamecano only cost £9 million and sold for a price. almost 40 million pounds.
The club’s record signing – Liverpool man Naby Keita – cost no more than £20m to buy, with the Guinea star eventually being sold to Anfield for double the price.
While Germany international Timo Werner hasn’t lived up to his nearly £50m price tag since moving to Chelsea two years ago, the 24-year-old’s departure is another coup for the club’s model.
Werner is a shining star in the Bundesliga, scoring 78 goals in 127 appearances, and is considered by many as a prime example of Leipzig’s prowess in producing and profiting from their model.
For Rangers, this means they could face some future world-class stars in the next round, and will have to play at their best to reach a famous final.
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