Rangers' 2011 Title-Winning XI: Where Are They Now?
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Rangers' 2011 Title-Winning XI: Where Are They Now?

Whisper it or scream it from the rooftops depending on your allegiance, but there might actually be a title race in Scotland this season. Steven Gerrard’s Rangers have started brilliantly, and there’s a real chance that they could end Celtic’s dominance in a title-winning season.

The last time Rangers won the Premiership title was back in 2011, with a 5-1 win over Kilmarnock sealing the trophy for Walter Smith and co. But who started for Rangers on that day, and where are they now?

Allan McGregor

The more things change, the more they stay the same. McGregor was Rangers’ number one when they last won the title, appearing in 37 out of 38 games. Eight years on and McGregor is still at Ibrox, although he hasn’t always been there.

The goalkeeper left in 2012 and joined Besiktas, and he’s also played for Hull and Cardiff before he returned to Glasgow in the summer of 2018.

Steven Whittaker

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 11: Sheyi Ojo of Rangers vies with Steven Whittaker of Hibernian during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Hibernian at Ibrox Stadium on August 11, 2019, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Another key component of that Rangers title-winning side, Whittaker also left in 2012 after the club’s financial woes, despite signing a new five-year deal in July 2011. Whittaker insisted “we owe no loyalty to the new club” before joining Norwich City on a four-year deal.

The Scot yo-yo-ed between the Premier League and Championship, leaving in 2017 and returning to Hibs where he still plays at the age of 35.

David Weir

The man who lifted the title on that day, David Weir was a Rangers veteran at this point, having also had lengthy spells with Falkirk and Everton. In January he deciding to leave Rangers and continue his career in England, nearly joining Sheffield United.

But instead, he hung up his boots and went into coaching with former club Everton. He had a brief spell as Sheffield United manager and also worked under Mark Warburton at Brentford. This combination eventually brought him back to Ibrox in 2015. Nowadays, Weir works for Brighton where he helps manage the loan players who go out to foreign clubs.

Madjid Bougherra

Ahead of the game, Bougherra had already announced he was leaving Rangers at the end of the season, rejecting a new contract at Ibrox. The former Algeria international joined Qatari side Lekhwiya for £1.7 million. He also played for Fujairah and Thessaloniki before retiring in 2016. Bougherra is back with his former club Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates where he is now manager.

Sasa Papac

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – APRIL 24: Sasa Papac (L) and David Wier of Rangers tackle Georgios Samaras (C) of Celtic during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium salutes his supporters on April 24, 2011, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

After sealing the title, Papac agreed on a new one-year deal with the Gers, leaving in 2012. Despite just being in his early 30s, Papac retired in August 2012 due to injury, unable to shake off a nagging groin injury.

Dubbed Mr Dependable, Papac admitted last year that he doesn’t have a job when offering Steven Gerrard his scouting services, but the Bosnian did say he still visits Ibrox and will be a Rangers fan until the end of his life. He recently played in the charity game against the Liverpool legends, with some fans wishing he could play for the first-team again!

Gregg Wylde

An academy product who swapped Celtic for Rangers in 2005, Wylde was only just properly breaking into the first-team in 2011. He would win two trophies that season, and to date, they’re the only honours of his career. Like many he left in 2012, heading to England to play for Bolton.

He’s been a bit of a journeyman since then, playing for multiple clubs in both Scotland and England. His most recent side was Livingston, but they released him in September, meaning the 28-year-old is now a free agent.

Maurice Edu

The American made more than 100 appearances for the Glaswegian giants, becoming a key figure in the Rangers in midfield. But as the story goes, he left in 2012, joining Premier League side Stoke City. He admitted it was a dream come true, but that dream quickly became a nightmare.

Edu made just one appearance in the English top-flight, a 10-minute cameo in a 0-0 draw with Liverpool. That was his only Stoke appearance, going on loan to Turkey and America before joining Philadelphia Union permanently in 2015. He officially retired earlier this year, and now works in the media, covering the MLS and the Champions League on American television.

Steven Davis

Steven Davis has still got it at 34 – just ask Ronald Koeman [Daily Echo]. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Eight years ago he was a Rangers player, and in 2019 he is again. But he’s been a Premier League regular since leaving Ibrox in 2012, playing a key part in Southampton solidifying themselves in the English top flight. Davis has also excelled on the international stage with Northern Ireland, and he’s now back with Rangers during the twilight years of his career.

Steven Naismith

A versatile forward, Naismith started on the right during Rangers’ 5-1 win over Kilmarnock. And he got a goal too, doubling Rangers’ lead in the fifth minute as they cruised towards the title.

Leaving in 2012, Naismith proved he could hang in the Premier League with Everton, but a move to Norwich was less successful, unable to stop them succumbing to relegation. Naismith returned to Scotland in 2018, spending a year and a half on loan with Hearts before making the move permanent this summer.

Kyle Lafferty

The Northern Irish striker was a Rangers hero on the final day of the season in 2011, scoring a glorious lob within the first minute. His hat-trick helped the Gers on the way to the title, ending the season with just 11 league goals – his best tally in blue. Can you guess when he left?

Yes, of course, it was 2012. But Lafferty took a different path, going to Switzerland to play for Sion. After that, it was Palermo, Norwich City, Caykur Rizespor and Birmingham City before he returned to Scottish shores with Hearts. His Rangers return didn’t quite go to plan last year, and now Lafferty is in Norway with Sarpsborg.

Nikica Jelavic

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 10: Rangers forward Nikica Jelavic celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot during the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League game between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road on December 10, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Croatian forward also got himself a goal against Kili, one of 36 he managed in one and a half seasons as a Rangers player. Jelavic joined Everton in January 2012 where he started brilliantly, netting nine goals in his first half a season in England.

He would also play for Hull City and West Ham, before China came calling in 2016, joining Beijing Renhe. He’s still over there, now playing for Guizhou Hengfeng.

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