Croatian defender Nikola Katić says he can’t wait to pull on a jersey and represent Rangers after he switched to Ibrox from NK Slaven Belupo.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard made combative Katić his fifth signing of his tenure when the rearguard operative put pen to paper on a four-year contract at the Glasgow giants.
And Katić has told of his excitement at joining what he describes as one of the biggest clubs the world. He said:
“It is a big pleasure to be here as this is one big club one of the biggest in Europe and in the world. It is good to be here and this is a big step for me.
“When they told me that Gerrard wanted to take me, I told my agent I’d get my shoes on and run to Scotland! He is a legend of football all over the world and I am glad to be here with him.
“It’s a big club in a strong league. I can play in Europe and play in front of 50,000 fans at every home game. It’s wonderful and a really good step for me.”
Katić, who has earned a full international cap for his home nation, is seen very much as a no-nonsense, battle-hardened player who is happy to be described as an enforcer. And he believes his robust style will perfectly suit the task ahead for Gerrard’s men next season as they try to put an end to the dominance of city rivals Celtic.
“I am the sort of player who likes a duel and in Scotland the type of football I think is for me. There are a lot of long-balls and a lot of duels, and that is what I like. I’ve seen the stadium on television and I have read about the fans and the rivalry with Celtic. It is really great and I simply cannot wait to play here.”
Katić is looking for an international bonus by joining Rangers, with an eye on forcing his way into the Croatia reckoning following his single cap. He believes representing Rangers will do his reputation no harm and also help him compete with Croatia team-mates vying for a place in the national squad.
“Sure. It will help me as Croatia has so many players at good clubs – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool – and it is hard to come from the Croatian league to play in the Croatian national team.
“But Rangers is a good step to show to the national manager that I can play for the national team. Everyone has said the former players did a good job here, and now I have a job to hold that tradition here.”
But before national acclaim, Katić knows he must buckle down and work hard for the Rangers cause.
“I want to train hard every day and help the team to get better results in every game, and to try and win the Scottish league and cup.” he said.
“Rangers needs to be in with the top European clubs, and I will try with the other players to move this club to the top of European football.”