Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has picked out the club’s famous 2-0 Champions League victory over then Serie A giants Parma as a major European night during his playing career.

The Dutch coach will be back at Ibrox in the Europa League for the visit of Sparta Prague as he kicks off his managerial career with Rangers and returns to the club he once played at.

Hibernian v Rangers - Premier Sports Cup

Tonight will be Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first game as Rangers manager. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

van Bronckhorst played in a trophy-laden spell at Ibrox between 1998 and 2001, claiming five domestic trophies including two SPL titles, but his performance in Europe also left a lasting impression.

GVB scored a match-winning long-range effort in a 1-0 victory away to Monaco in the year 2000 but the iconic match with Parma – which Rangers won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Tony Vidmar and Claudio Reyna – especially stands out.

The Gers welcomed a star-studded Parma side to Ibrox, their team including Gigi Buffon, Lillian Thuram, Fabio Cannavaro, Ariel Ortega and Marco de Vaio amongst many others.

World Cup winner Buffon has never forgotten that night – and ranks it amongst the best atmospheres he’s ever witnessed – and clearly neither has GVB.

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“I am looking forward to the first game back in the stadium and of course it will bring many memories of my time when I was a player,” said van Bronckhorst [Rangers].

“Very good memories. I can’t wait to feel the atmosphere again in the stadium but I am old enough to separate my emotions into the focus I need to perform with the team.


“Before the game, it will be mixed feelings – but once the whistle goes from the referee, I will be fully focused on my task and that is to guide my team to victory.

“I had a couple of favourite European nights with Rangers. The win over Parma at Ibrox (in 1999) we had for qualification for the Champions League was a very good experience.

“We qualified for the group stages by beating a Parma team full of international stars. I think, for me, it was one of the best nights that I had with Rangers.

“Of course, also playing against the likes of Bayern Munich and Monaco in the group stage, which we want to have.

“At that time, we could compete with the top clubs and that was good for us as players and also good as a team and, of course, for the club as well. Good memories in Europe.”

GVB will be hoping to get his Rangers managerial career off to a similar start and all the sounds coming from camp Ibrox appear positive as Gio promises to ring the changes.

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