Having failed to win a major title since the 2015/16 season, a Steven Gerard led Rangers side put out a dominant performance in the Scottish division to secure a world record 55th league title last season. The side led in almost all statistical indexes from the season with over 16 different goal scorers and boasted the best defensive record in the league with 17 clean sheets.
Now, under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, this high-flying team has carried their form onto Europe this season, as Rangers booked a place in the Europe League final on Thursday night following their impressive 3-1 second-leg victory against German side RB Leipzig at the Ibrox Stadium.
Goals from James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and John Lundstram were enough to cancel out Christopher Nkunku’s goal as the Scottish champion’s sealed their passage to the final with a 3-2 win on aggregate.
In the build-up to the semi-final, Leipzig were the favourites for many to go through to the final given the German side’s superiority as regulars in the Europa league and due to their financial status.
Having splashed the cash on the likes of Dani Olmo (€19m) and Andre Silva (€20m) in the last couple of summer windows, the Leipzig squad that took the field against Rangers had a total squad cost of € 203 million, as per sources.
In sharp contrast, the Rangers squad had a total cost of €17.75 million, while the eleven that were fielded on Thursday had a combined cost of €13.65 million, both of which are lesser than the amount Leipzig spent on Dani Olmo alone.
As per transfermakt, five players from the starting 11 were free agents (Aribo, Lundstram, Bassey, Jack and McGregor). Furthermore, three players were bought for less than 1m (Tavernier, Wright, Kamara). Only Barisic (2.45m), Kent (7.2m) and Goldson (3.4m) were bought for more than a million euros and despite the financial inferiority, it was the Scottish side who booked a place in the final.
The Rangers’ return to their former heights has many hardcore football fans excited as it is the comeback of a team with a rich history. By reaching all the way to a European final once again, the club has proved that money is not everything in the modern game and would now be looking to win the final as well against another German side in Frankfurt.