Rangers Europa League final journey explored as Gio Van Bronckhorst’s heroes make history

09 Th5 2022 | 08:32 | Football

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s Rangers scored the unthinkable against RB Leipzig in one of the club’s most historic nights.

The Light Blues conquered the Bundesliga side in Ibrox’s unbelievable comeback, leaving the former Champions League champions stunned.

Rangers fans are used to big nights in Europa League this season, but no win has been as big as a 3-1 win over the Germans.

That means the Light Blues have made history, qualifying for the European final for the first time in 14 years, and their fifth ever.

In the past, the heroes of Colin Stein and Willie Johnston that Rangers fans will miss dearly, are now the stars of today in James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and John Lundstram made history.

Against all odds, Van Bronckhorst’s men will be in the finals later this month and have carved their names into Rangers folklore alongside an exclusive clubhouse.

Fast sports take a look at how this season’s run ranks in the Rangers history books:

UEFA Cup Award (2008)

Of course, there’s no better place to start than with Rangers’ historic UEFA Cup in 2008.

It was club legend Walter Smith who helped his side reach the final of Europe’s second division tournament, which ended in a heartbreak in Manchester.

Rangers initially battled in a tough Champions League group, with giants like Barcelona and Lyon, with the Light Blues claiming a historic victory over the latter group.

In the end, Smith’s men finished third, and were relegated to the UEFA Cup, defeating Panathinakos and Werden Bremen in rounds 32 and 16, respectively.

Nacho Novo scores from the penalty kick to put Rangers through

But it was the historic penalty shootout in Fiorentina that most Rangers fans will remember, after the sides were inseparable in two legs and extra time.

Head to Nacho Novo to take the Blues to the final and secure a historic campaign for the club.

However, Zenit St Petersburg proved to be worthy opponents as they won 2-0 on the night of Manchester to deny Rangers the big trophy.

Now Gio Van Bronckhorst’s The men have the opportunity to go one of the better in Seville at the end of the month.

Steven Gerrard Era (2018-2021)

When Steven Gerrard to Rangers, the task ahead for the British was simple.

And that is to make the club a force again, not only in the country, but also in European football.

Last season saw part-time Luxembourg player Progres Niederkorn knock out the Blues in the first qualifying round of the Europa League under Pedro Caixinha.

But Gerrard created a different atmosphere for the European nights at Ibrox, and his side negotiated four qualifiers to reach the group stage in his first season.

It’s been a long time since Rangers made it past the round of 16 in Europe, and the former Liverpool man made this a reality in the following two campaigns at Ibrox.

Names like Alfredo Morelos, Ryan Kent and Allan McGregor have all delivered historic performances, in which Rangers beat European rivals Porto, Feyenoord and Galatasaray among others.

In the end, however, Rangers failed to reach the quarter-finals under Gerrard, and disappointedly fell into their first Champions League hurdle of his final season, losing to Malmo at home and away in third qualifying round.

Barcelona (1972)

The greatest night in Rangers history is almost 100 years from the day they were founded in the Spanish city of Barcelona on May 24, 1972.

At the Nou Camp, they beat the Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in the Cup Winners’ Cup with iconic goals from Colin Stein and Willie Johnston, who scored twice, bringing glory to them after defeats in the tournaments. 1961 and 1967 finals.

It’s been the most challenging of the journey there – indeed, they’ve faced better teams along the way.

France’s Rennes was looked after in the first round and then an incredible clash with Sporting Lisbon followed.

Colin Stein celebrates after scoring against Dynamo Moscow

Rangers won Ibrox 3-2 but lost to Portugal 3-2. Both sides scored in extra time, with a final score of 6-6 but after Sporting ‘won’ on penalties, the referee realized Ranger had scored away.

The Italians, Torino were defeated with a final score of 2-1 in the half, then the mighty Bayern Munich lay in wait.

A remarkable 1-1 draw in West Germany followed by a stunning 2-0 win over 80,000 men at Ibrox to establish glory in Spain.

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