Rangers are set to face off against Malmo FF in the third round of Champions League qualifying with Swedish defender Filip Helander set for an emotional homecoming.
Gers fans knew that whether the Ibrox side faced the Swedish champions or their Finnish counterparts HJK Helsinki, there would be some kind of player reunion.
After all, Filip Helander started his career with Malmo and Alfredo Morelos was signed from Helsinki.
But it’s a boyhood homecoming for Big Fil that’s now on the cards next week after the Swedes edged out the tie 4-3 on aggregate.
Helander, 28, remains so enamoured with his boyhood club that he’s also previously said that he intends on finishing his career there.
Fil broke through at the club in 2011, making over 90 appearances as a centre-back before moving on to Hellas Verona in Serie A and eventually Bologna.
Helander then signed on at Rangers in a £3m deal in 2019 and to date, is yet to lose a Scottish Premiership match in Ger colours.
“Anything can happen in football, but I feel good and it’s always easier when a team is doing well,” explains Helander [Glasgow Times].
“The hope for me is to be able to end my career in Malmo. I have talked to Pontus Jansson at Brentford about us doing it together.”
Malmo took a 2-1 lead to Finland but Helsinki were level within a minute to set up an enthralling second leg.
However, Malmo would steer things back into their direction by coming back into the game to take the lead at 2-1 before a Helsinki equaliser set up a nervous finish.
But the Swedes could hold on to set up the clash with Rangers with the first leg set to take place in Malmo on Tue 3rd August with the return at Ibrox – potentially in front of a full house – on Tuesday 10th.
Rangers faced Malmo the last time they were in Champions League qualifying in 2011 and infamously lost to the Swedish side.
Read more about why some fans may be disappointed the Gers didn’t draw HJK Helsinki in the next round.