As Rangers prepare for the second leg of their Europa League second qualifying round match with Croatian outfit Osijek, it is pertinent to point out the previous connections between Rangers and the country that lost this summer’s World Cup final.

The Gers have never previously faced Croatian opposition in European competition, but four former players come from the country. We’ve taken a look at them…

Nikola Katic: 2018-

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JULY 12: Nikola Katic of Rangers in action during the UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round match between Rangers and Shkupi at Ibrox Stadium on July 12, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

21-year-old defender Katic was brought to Ibrox as part of Steven Gerrard’s maiden recruitment drive, charged with bolstering the Gers backline.

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At 6ft 4in, he is a towering presence and he already has a full international cap to his name, so all the ingredients are there for him to become a popular figure. Securing another clean sheet in a victory against the side from his home country would continue a tidy start to his Rangers career.

Niko Krancjar: 2016-2018

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 16: Niko Kranjcar of Rangers takes a free kick during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and St Johnstone at Ibrox Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Brought to Ibrox from New York Cosmos in June 2016 under Mark Warburton, he made a reasonable start to the season before a cruciate ligament injury suffered in October ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Injury problems dogged his entire time in Glasgow, and he departed the club in March this year having made just 16 league appearances.

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His best days were undoubtedly behind him by the time he arrived, but he did possess the creativity that could have added an extra dimension. It just didn’t work out that way.

Nikica Jelavic: 2010-2012

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)

Between August 2010 and January 2012, the striker signed for £4m from Rapid Vienna bagged 36 goals from just 55 appearances in all competitions as he hit the ground running and scored for fun.

He netted a goal and grabbed two assists in the title-winning 5-1 final-day win over Kilmarnock in May 2011, two months after he netted an extra-time winner in the Scottish League Cup final against Celtic.

A physical striker who could lead the line well, while maintaining a keen eye for goal – what Gerrard would do for another Jelavic to add to his current squad…

Dado Prso: 2004-2007

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 02: Dado Prso of Rangers screams after missing a goal scoring chance during the UEFA Cup group A match between Rangers and Maccabi Haifa at Ibrox stadium on November 2, 2006 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Alex McLeish beat Bolton Wanderers to the free transfer of Prso in May 2004 and he scored 37 goals in 123 appearances in all competitions in Scottish football, so what a signing it turned out to be.

He fired the Gers to a league and League Cup double in his debut season and was so good that a DVD of his best Rangers moments was released after his departure from the club, where he was given a guard of honour by his team-mates at Ibrox.

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