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From the UCL’s oldest Brit to Dybala’s strike partner: Stats & stories behind Rangers’ last Scottish champions

It's been nine years since Rangers last won the Scottish Premiership Trophy.

Few would have really predicted a different result if the SPFL had decided not to end the season early and to give Celtic the 2019/20 title. Neil Lennon's men were 13 points ahead of their rivals in Glasgow just before the coronavirus pandemic finally brought the campaign to a standstill. So there are nine consecutive titles for the Bhoys, many of whom have not had to compete against their fiercest rivals.

Before the financial ruin in 2012 endangered the existence of the club (and sent them into the third division of the Scottish football league Irn Bru at the time), the Gers were used to consistent silver and drama title races.

Her last taste of this glory came in 2010/11 when a ranger inspired by Walter Smith won the club's 54th title, a record that continues to this day. Of course, this was only a year before the Rangers Holding was liquidated. The resulting departures caused waves that affected a variety of competitions, from the Premier League to the Turkish Super Lig to the Italian Serie B.

Goalkeeper: Allan McGregor

  • Age: 38
  • Appearances for rangers: 350
  • Current page: Rangers

The Scottish veteran was indispensable in 2010/11 as his skillful streak resulted in 22 goals, including one against Celtic with five games remaining. He saved a Georgios Samaras penalty at 0-0 in April in less than 10 minutes and the Gers won the title with just one point.

Despite his exploits in the field, McGregor was no stranger to arguing about. In 2009, the Edinburgh-born goalkeeper was banned from representing Scotland for his share in the Boozegate scandal alongside Barry Ferguson. The duo were involved in an early drinking hour during their international campaign with Scotland, an incident that occurred immediately after losing to the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier.

Then manager George Burley dropped the couple for the following game and they began to V-mark photographers on the bench, causing the SFA board to sanction a lifelong ban. After the appointment of Craig Levein, McGregor was reinstated in the international group and won the 2010/11 International Player of the Year award from the Scottish Sports Writers just two years after Boozegate.

His last appearance for Scotland was a decisive 3-2 win against Israel in the first UEFA Nations League 2018/19, in which his matchThe win over Tomer Hemed secured his country a place in the playoffs for Euro 2020 and a promotion to the Nations League. Steven Gerrard called the rescue "world class".

It's safe to say that McGregor's 19-year career was fraught with moments from Jekyll and Hyde. from hitting Loris Karius the Besiktas wooden spoon when he was named the club's worst goalkeeper in the past 20 years to reach the FA Cup final with Hull City.

He's back at Rangers now. But despite all the years of experience, even he can't shy away from blowing hot and cold on the field. The former Liverpool man, who Gerrard called “gold dust” when he signed it again in 2018, changed his mind after this bizarre red card incident against Hibernian last season …

Incident with the red card from McGregor pic.twitter.com/s2eo5mQkAX

– Derek Miller (@DerekMillerTime), May 5, 2019

Right back: Steven Whittaker

  • Age: 35
  • Appearances for rangers: 196
  • Current page: Hibernian

The buccaneering defender was the perfect tonic for Alan Hutton's departure to Tottenham in 2008 soon changed from an unorthodox left-back role in his first campaign to his usual right-back position, where his fast-paced runs, timely challenges, and ruthless punishments helped Rangers win numerous trophies.

But like McGregor and many others, Whittaker spent only one season with Rangers after their 2011 triumph and decided to try his luck further outside rather than in the Scottish third division. He moved to Carrow Road in 2012, but a combination of injury issues, an inconsistent dugout and Norwich Yo-Yoing between the Premier League and the championship meant that his season was limited.

It was Helter-Skelter time for Whittaker, who suffered two relegation rounds, earned a promotion and assisted in the 2015 play-off final. Once he even received his marching orders in the form of a notebook instead of a red card from Jonathan Moss.

Lol, referee, Jonathan Moss sends Steven Whittaker with his notebook pic.twitter.com/0frgLis4cx

– Mark Thomson YNWA (@rockyboboss), August 31, 2015

The incident was all the more weird when Whittaker caught two yellows in just four minutes. The first thing he got because he had prevented Matt Targett from throwing in; The second was to pull on Dusan Tadic's shirt.

Center back: David Weir

  • Age: 50
  • Appearances for rangers: 214
  • Current page: Brighton (youth counseling role)

The word veteran is often played around loosely, but in 2010/11 Weir was the true textbook definition of an experienced central defender who led the Gers to his third Scottish championship at the age of 41.

That same season, he was the second oldest field player to ever compete in the Championship League. According to transfermarkt.co.uk, he was one day behind the record of former AC Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta. He reached this milestone in a way and remained undefeated in Old Trafford in a 0-0 draw against Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

When he reunited with Walter Smith at the wrong end of the 1930s in 2007, the Rangers fans could be forgiven for some doubts. The former Everton defender played more than 200 times for the Glasgow Club, won eight trophies and even won the Scottish Football Writers & # 39; Association Footballer of the Year Award (the oldest player to do so) in 2010.

After retiring in 2012, Weir cut his teeth in the management of Sheffield United. Since then he has worked as a coach and worked for Brentford, Rangers and Nottingham Forest under Mark Warburton. He’s now on the books in Brighton, Management of young players who are loaned to foreign clubs.

Center back: Madjid Bougherra

  • Age: 37
  • Appearances for rangers: 113
  • Current page: Retired

Weir's central partner in the heart of the defense was the Algerian Madjid Bougherra, who left the Rangers the same summer after refusing to renew his contract. He joined Qatar Lekhwiya in 2012 before moving to Al-Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates and then to Aris in Greece, where he retired in 2016.

Bougherra is another whose stay at Ibrox is remembered more than just his defensive accomplishments. He enjoyed some memorable games, especially in Europe, where he scored a goal Solo goal on his Champions League debut against Stuttgart and delivered a performance in the above draw against Man Utd that matched the man of the game.

He was also awarded the PFA Scotland Goal of the Season was recognized for its efforts in the 7-1 demolition of Dundee United in December 2009. And of course he left traces in an Old Firm game and received a fine from the SFA for dealing with referee Callum Murray.

This time Madjid Bougherra competed alone against Dundee UTD. pic.twitter.com/xMstxDcDWq

– Glasgow is blue (@ GlasgowIsBlue72) November 27, 2018

He recently switched to management, his last position was Fujairah, although he still has fond memories of Glasgow. He recently saw himself and Kris Boyd as "fat boys ”during their time together in the club.

Bougherra told that That is Ibrox Podcast: “(Kris Boyd) can score many goals and we can have a burger together. Me and he were the fat boys when we were there. "

Left-back: Sasa Papac

  • Age: 40
  • Appearances for rangers: 227
  • Current page: Retired

The Bosnian left-back was an enthusiastic newcomer from Austria Vienna in 2006. He played for Ibrox for six years before a groin injury forced him to retire in early 2012.

Originally picked up by Paul le Guen as a central defender, Papac was reinvented as a full-back under Smith and was immediately impressed. He played a key role in the club's run for the 2008 UEFA Cup final.

It was never spectacular and never produced anything too striking, but the Bosnian was a stubborn workhorse and has achieved cult hero status among the Rangers' faithful.

Central midfield: Steven Davis

  • Age: 35
  • Appearances for rangers: 260
  • Current page: Rangers

The energetic midfielder was the Rangers' talisman in 2010/11. He also left the club in 2012, moved to Southampton and made an excellent name for himself under Mauricio Pochettino. He enjoyed six full seasons as a regular for the Saints and helped the club at the 2017 League Cup final before finally returning to Rangers last summer.

The North Irishman was a revelation during his first stint at the club. He played a key role in his run to the 2008 UEFA Cup final, won the PFA Scotland Players & # 39; Player of the Year 2010 and even took over the captaincy.

By representing Northern Ireland, he recorded a record that was once owned by David Beckham. Davis has completed 117 games and is the best-occupied midfielder among home countries. He is two of Pat Jenning's record in Northern Ireland and nine caps after seizing Peter Shilton as Britain's best-staffed international footballer.

He is already a regular at Gerrard & # 39; s Gers and has even talked about the possibility of running the club one day.

Central midfield: Maurice Edu

  • Age: 34
  • Appearances for rangers: 122
  • Current page: Retired

Edu was a relatively unknown player when he moved from Toronto FC in 2008, but the combative American soon became the heartbeat of the Rangers' midfield. He enjoyed four years in Glasgow before a phone call to Jürgen Klinsmann convinced Tony Pulis to sign him for Stoke City, which was secured in 2012. Unfortunately, it had no effect on the Potters and after only two seasons and one appearance, he ventured across the Atlantic to the U.S., switched to Philadelphia Union and then Bethlehem Steel before saying goodbye in 2017.

Right wing: Steven Naismith

  • Age: 33
  • Appearances for rangers: 140
  • Current page: Hearts

Naismith's explosive shows in Scotland caught the eye of Everton, who hired him in 2012, where he collected 123 appearances and impressed the faithful of Goodison Park with his concise wing play. He is also one of only 31 players who did a perfect hat trick in the Premier League. There was a stint at Norwich before moving later to Hearts, where his team has since relegated due to the premature end of the season.

Steven Naismith scores a perfect hat trick for Everton against Chelsea.

Right foot ✓
Left foot ✓
Header ✓

Great. pic.twitter.com/xVhlVMLwst

– Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 12, 2015

In the title winning season, Naismith enjoyed his most productive campaign in a Rangers jersey and scored 11 league goals, which promptly earned him both the players of the year and the players of the year of the fans.

Left wing: Kyle Lafferty

  • Age: 32
  • Appearances for rangers: 164
  • Current page: Sunderland

After leaving Rangers, Lafferty is known to become a partner Paulo Dybala in Palermo. He also played only once for Norwich in the Premier League in 2015/16 before returning to Rangers via Hearts in 2018. After just one season and five goals, Lafferty has now left Glasgow and moved to Sunderland in the first division.

The North Irishman has represented eleven clubs in his career, but only won silver at Rangers and Palermo, with the striker winning the Serie B Cup in 2014 with the latter. Despite his eleven goals, which helped the club to climb this year – Abel Hernandez and Andrea Belotti included in a team – and winning He was sold as a fan player of the season. Why? The reasons given by Palermo's owner were quite a lot.

"Lafferty is being sold following a specific request from my trainer Beppe Iachini," Maurizio Zamparini, Palermo's owner, told Radio 24 in 2014.

“He's a runaway womanizer, an Irishman with no rules. He is someone who disappears for a week and goes hunting for women in Milan. "

In response, Lafferty told the press during Euro 2016: "He tried to sign me again in January. So there is your answer to what he said earlier." Perhaps most notable was his laissez-faire attitude of being called a “runaway womanizer”.

"I think the president had to cover his own back, but I didn't hold him against it," added Lafferty. "I know what he is like. The guy is crazy, but he has a heart of gold."

Forward: Nikica Jelavic

  • Age: 34
  • Appearances for rangers: 56
  • Current page: Guizhou Zhicheng

Despite only 23 appearances in the 2010/11 season, Jelavic scored 16 goals and finished the club's second highest scorer. Overall, he scored 36 goals in 56 games at Rangers before moving to Naismith on Merseyside and then to Hull and West Ham. The Croatian turned out to be less successful in the Premier League and finally looked for new pastures and moved to the Far East in 2016.

Forward: Kenny Miller

  • Age: 40
  • Appearances for rangers: 265
  • Current page: Newcastle Jets (assistant coach)

During his heyday, Miller was the definition of clinical. He won the Scottish Premier League 2010/11 golden shoe with 21 goals and only completed 18 games. The former Scottish international left Bursaspor this summer and played for Cardiff in the Vancouver Whitecaps championship in MLS. In 2014 he returned to Rangers. Last summer he officially put on his boots after a swan song with Partick Thistle.

Miller is just one of a few brave players who represent both Rangers and Celtic. He signed for the latter in 2006 and eventually became the third player since World War II to play for both sides of the Old Firm at the time.

Notable subs:

Vladimir Weiss

  • Age: 30th
  • Appearances for rangers: 35
  • Current page: Slovak Bratislava

In order to rub salt in the wounds of the 2010/11 Celtic fans, Weiss rejected the club in favor of the Rangers and played a key role in the title fight of the club. The tricky winger borrowed from Manchester City has repeatedly threatened in his career to establish himself as a top-class player, but for one reason or another it just didn't work out for the now 30-year-old at the height of football. Since leaving Etihad, he has chosen Pescara, Olympiacos, Lekhwiya, Al-Gharafa and now Bratislava, Slovakia.

John stain

  • Age: 28
  • Appearances for rangers: 58
  • Current page: Sheffield United

Great things were expected from Fleck when he first came on stage, and he might have become a Rangers legend if the club hadn't dropped the divisions. He was clearly too good to play in the Scottish third division and moved to Coventry in 2012, where his reputation in the first division skyrocketed. Sheff Utd secured his services in 2016 and was the catalyst for the rise to the soccer ladder.

While on Bramall Lane, the Scotsman has twice won the Sheffield United Player of the Year award and was indispensable for the club's Premier League this season under Chris Wilder. The blades currently occupy seventh place in the table. So far, no player has scored more league goals (5) than Fleck this season.

El Hadji Diouf

  • Age: 39
  • Appearances for rangers: 22
  • Current page: Retired

The Mercurial Forward was borrowed from Ibrox from Blackburn in the second half of 2010/11 and brought with it the aggression required to bring the Rangers over the line in their home double campaign. The former Liverpool player played for Scotland for Doncaster, Leeds and Malaysian club Sabah before starting his career as a player in 2015.

David Healy

  • Age: 40
  • Appearances for rangers: 24th
  • Current page: Linfield (manager)

The Manchester United graduate came through the door to Diouf in January but was only there eight times and scored one goal. Two seasons followed, one at Rangers and one at Bury for Healy, before the curtain fell and he moved to the executive team, where he currently heads Linfield in Northern Ireland.

His international record is also worth mentioning. He is not only Northern Ireland's top scorer of all time (36 goals), but Healy also shares the record for most goals scored in a single European Championship qualifying campaign with superstar Robert Lewandowski (13) from Poland and Bayern Munich.

James Beattie

  • Age: 42
  • Appearances for rangers: 10th
  • Current page: Birmingham City (first team coach)

Beattie joined Rangers in 2010 after rejecting the Stoke pecking order. He was expected to be well represented, but a combination of injury and loss of shape limited him to just seven appearances. He eventually joined Sheff Utd before moving to Accrington Stanley and then moving into the executive team. He was on Stanley He heads 58 games before leaving in 2014 and is now training for Birmingham.

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