Former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill has praised Rangers’ run to the Europa League final this season before taking a back-handed dig at his old side and admitting the Gers have provided the lift Scottish football has needed for years.
Despite losing out to Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on Wednesday night, the Light Blues have caught the attention of European football with their stunning progress in recent years.
O’Neill confessed reaching the final was a “brilliant effort” by Gio van Bronckhorst’s side as he pinpointed the win over Dortmund in Germany as they game that really caught the attention of fans and clubs alike on the continent.
“I’m not being sycophantic to Rangers here but it has been a brilliant effort by them,” O’Neill said [Scottish Sun]
“That 4-2 victory in Dortmund made everybody in Europe sit up.
“It has been a fantastic boost for Scottish football, which has been needing one for a wee while.”
Surprising – but welcome – praise for Rangers from former Celtic boss
While many affiliated to Celtic look to rub salt in the wounds of Rangers fans after the Europa League defeat, O’Neill’s comments are a surprising bit of praise for the Light Blues.
However you want to spin it, Rangers reaching a European final less than ten years after being in the Third Division is a ridiculous achievement.
When you consider that the fourteen years since Rangers’ previous European final also included the club’s financial meltdown and the ‘Journey’ it shows just how far the club has come lately.
Hopefully, it’s just the beginning for the Light Blues and they can show they deserve to be consistently taking part in the latter stages of Europe.