There was a time a not long ago when the likelihood of even one Rangers player making a major international tournament, let alone Euro 2020, seemed very, very far away.

But as the club sits as undefeated Champions, three years on from the appointment of Steven Gerrard, the club has five players at Euro 2020 who will play varying roles in the tournament.

UEFA EURO 2020 Launch Event

Rangers will have five players at Euro 2020 – an impressive feat given how far the club has come. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

A year on from when Covid-19 halted the games, players from all across the continent will fly across one another in a cross-border competition the first of its kind.

They certainly picked a belter of a year to do it. Good old UEFA.

But whilst there remains contention regarding the Scottish national team and Rangers fans following Scotland’s qualification for their first tournament for 23 years, bluenoses everywhere will certainly be tuning in to see how their top players fare.

Speaking of Scotland, two of the players from the five leaving Ibrox basecamp for the tournament are involved with the national squad.

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Had Ryan Jack not just had surgery for a niggling, recurring injury, then he’d have surely made it three.

Instead, Nathan Patterson – a flying right-back who just appears to get better with every match – and reserve goalie Jon McLaughlin – who is always ready when called upon – will fly the Rangers flag.

Whatever you think about Scotland it’s hard to deny the excitement which is bubbling around the national team who go into this tournament on decent form and with a decent squad.

Scotland Portraits - UEFA Euro 2020

Scotland kid Nathan Patterson will be hoping to do Rangers fans proud at Euro 2020. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Czech Republic, England and Croatia stand in the nation’s way in the group stages and alongside ex-Gers kid Billy Gilmour, the youthful exuberance of Patterson and Celtic star David Turnbull gives the country a dimension they haven’t had previously under Steve Clarke.

Next up is Finnish midfielder Glen Kamara who is expected to feature heavily – and probably play every minute – for the Scandinavian nation.

 

One of the major reasons why Finland qualified for a first major tournament in Euro 2020, Kamara is one of the main men for the nation and Gers fans will be chewing their fingernails over those watching the talented midfielder.

We expect him to do very well.

Ukraine v Finland - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

Rangers star Glen Kamara will be a key player for Finland at Euro 2020. (Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Borna Barisic – a player who only two seasons ago looked a shell of the man he is now – goes in with tournament dark horses Croatia as their first-choice left-back.

The Rangers star is keeping Lille’s Domagoj Bradaric out of the team but there is competition for places so he simply must reach the top of his game.

If Borna can he’ll be lethal.

Croatia v Cyprus - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

Barisic will be kept on his toes by competition in the Croatia squad. (Photo by Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

Filip Helander – the big Swede who has yet to lose a Scottish Premiership game for Rangers – is also set to feature at the tournament, turning out for the Blågult.

Another who has considerable competition, albeit at centre-half, Helander will be competing with Man Utd’s Victor Lindelof, Marcus Danielson of Dalian Yifang, Brentford’s Pontus Jansson and veteran Andreas Granqvist for two spots in the team.

An assured defender regularly called upon by Steven Gerrard in the club’s biggest matches, we’ve no doubt Helander will fit right in at this level if required.

Spain v Sweden - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Filip Helander faces competition to break into the Sweden squad. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Whatever happens, this is an opportunity for all five of these players to steal the stage and do Rangers fans back home proud.

There was a time when this seemed like a distant fantasy and there is no doubt this is another sign of the progress being made at Ibrox.

As Scotland approaches their first match with the Czech Republic on Monday, can Euro 2020 mend the relationship between many Gers fans and the Tartan Army?

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