Rangers will face German side FC Köln in the UEFA Youth League in March in Glasgow after the draw was completed this morning in Nyon, Switzerland.
The Gers made their debut in the competition last season, losing out in the last 16, and will be hoping to emulate last season’s campaign – beating Young Boys and Slovan Bratislava before defeat to a fantastic Atlético Madrid side.
With the competition revamped as a result of Coronavirus, with ties being played as single-leg games rather than the usual two-legged fixtures and the semi-finals and finals taking place at Colovray Stadium, Nyon in May.
The Gers could have faced Galatasaray, AZ Alkmaar, Dinamo Zagreb, Hammarby, Rosenborg or Waterford after teams were grouped together ahead of the draw.
Rangers will again be in the Domestic Champions pathway and If the Gers progress beyond that, they will have a one-off playoff tie with a side from the Champions League pathway for a place in the latter stages.
Ajax, Atlético, Barcelona, Bayern, Benfica, Juventus, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto and Real Madrid keep up their record of entering all eight editions since the first in 2013/14 while Angers, Apolonia, AZ Alkmaar, Celta Vigo, Chertanovo, Dinamo Minsk, Ferencváros, Górnik Zabrze, Györ, İstanbul Başakşehir, Köln, Lazio, Odense, Olimpija Ljubljana and Waterford take part for the first time.
Real Madrid are the current holders, after Bernabeu icon Raul led them to their first Youth League title in August after beating three-time runners-up Benfica 3-2.
Kevin Thomson and Brian Gilmour’s side may need to see special dispensation from the Scottish FA to play in the competition with all football outside the SPFL Championship and Premiership suspended.
That is due to be reviewed at the end of the month but could be extended with restrictions across Scotland set to remain in place – however, Glasgow City were given the ok to take part in the Champions League so the young Gers should get the thumbs up to take their place in the Youth League if restrictions are still in place.
One player who would likely have featured for the Gers left Ibrox to link up with an international icon earlier today