£1.5m Rangers dud branded "the best" in Portugal after Benfica display
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

£1.5m Rangers dud branded "the best" in Portugal after Benfica display

Things didn’t work out at Rangers for Portuguese defender Fabio Cardoso, but they certainly appear to be working out in his homeland as he grabs the headlines in Portugal.

The defender scored Santa Clara’s only goal as they drew 1-1 with high-spending Europa League rivals Benfica over the weekend in an impressive display which has captured the imagination in his home country.

Cardoso joined Rangers during the tenure of Pedro Caixinha for a reported fee of £1.5m in 2017 [Scottish Sun] and there were high hopes for the centre-back.

But things would not work out as planned in Scotland as Cardoso left bloodied and bruised and would join Santa Clara on a free only a year later.

Since then, the former Vitoria Setubal defender has gone from strength to strength and now captains the Primeira Liga side.

The defender would show quick reactions to nod in Santa Clara’s equaliser against his old side Benfica over the weekend and it’s the latest strong showing from the 26-year-old centre-half.

More than that, Cardoso was branded “the best” central defender in the country by ex-Portuguese international Edinho as he criticised the Lisbon side’s recruitment.

“They [Benfica] go get this and that one and they have the best central defender of the I Liga, who trained there and won’t pick him up,” said Edinho [Noticiasao Minuto].

Things didn’t work out as planned for Cardoso at Rangers but he has resurrected his career in Portugal. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It’s an impressive turnaround from the defender who will now harbour ambitions of making it into the Portuguese national team.

Cardoso isn’t the only Portuguese ex-Rangers star whose been earning praise in a new country – one now plying his trade in Italy has previously been labelled a “phenomenon”.