Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Glasgow Rangers Greatest All-Time Team

1972 Cup Winners' Cup Victory Parade

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Rangers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 54 times, the Scottish Cup 33 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times, and achieving the treble of all three in the same season seven times. Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008. Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm.

GK: Andy Goram (Scotland)
Goram was voted as Glasglow Rangers' greatest keeper.  He played for them between 1991 and 1999.  He played for many clubs after his career with Rangers. His international career, however, was limited due to playing at the same time as Jimmy Leighton. He was capped 43 times.  He was selected for their squads at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, UEFA Euro 1992 and UEFA Euro 1996.

GK: Stefan Klos  (Germany)
Born in Dortmund, Klos arrived at Borussia Dortmund in the 1990 summer, from neighbouring TSC Eintracht Dortmund. He was the starting keeper that won the Champions' league in 1996.  He joined Rangers in 1998.  

GK: Peter McCloy (Scotland)
McCloy played for Motherwell and Rangers. He was a member of the Rangers team which won the 1972 Cup Winners Cup, and was Rangers' first-choice goalkeeper for most of his 16-year spell at the club despite competition from players such as Gerhardt Neef, Stewart Kennedy and Jim Stewart. Capped 4 times.

RB:  Sandy Jardine (Scotland)
Jardine played for Rangers from 1965 to 1982.  He twice won the Scottish Football Writers Association Player of the Year award and was part of the Rangers team that won the 1971–72 European Cup Winners' Cup. He was capped 38 times.  He played another 6 seasons with Heart of Midlothian. He appeared at the WC Finals in 1974 and 1978. 
Sandy Jardine
RB/LB: Eric Caldow (Scotland)
Caldow palywed for Rangers from 1952 and 1966. He was a key player as Rangers reached the Final of the 1961 Cup Winners' Cup. Caldow played 40 times for Scotland – 29 at left back and 11 at right – and captained them for three years. He went to the WC Finals in 1958.

CB: Jock Drummond (Scotland)
Drummond joined Rangers in 1892 from Falkirk. He went on to win five Scottish Cup medals (1894, 1897, 1898, 1899 and 1903) and four consecutive league titles (1898-99, 1899-1900, 1900-01 and 1901-02) - the first of which Rangers won all 18 of their Scottish league matches. Drummond was also capped 14 times by Scotland between 1892 and 1903. He also captained his country on four occasions. He is notable for being the last outfield player in Scottish football to wear a cap while playing.

CB: Richard Gough (Scotland)
Gough enjoyed successes with Dundee United before moving to Tottenham Hotspurs.  He captained the Tottenham team which lost to Coventry City in the 1987 FA Cup Final. Gough joined Rangers in 1987 and becoming the first Scottish player to be signed for over £1,000,000.  He captained Rangers to nine successive Scottish league championships. In 1996, he joined MLS. Gough played in 2 World Cups, 1986 and 1990, and captained his country in the 1992 European Championships, in his birthplace, Sweden.

CB: Terry Butcher (England)
Butcher was one of England's greatest defenders. He captained the England national team, winning 77 caps in a ten-year international career that featured three FIFA World Cups. Butcher also enjoyed success in his club career, particularly with Ipswich Town and Rangers. With Ipswich, he was a part of Bobby Robson's team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981. In 1986, he joined Rangers as one of the first wave of English players playing for Graeme Souness' Rangers in the 1980's.

CB/RB: George Young (Scotland)
Young started his career with Rangers in 1941. He was often played at right back to accommodate Willie Woodburn in Rangers' renowned Iron Curtain defence. Rangers became the first side to win all three trophies in the same season in 1948–49.  He was capped 54 times. He was not allowed to play in the 1954 WC Finals because Rangers had a tour at the same time.
George Young 1948 Scottish Cup Final

CB: Willie Woodbun (Scotland)
Willie Woodburn played for Rangers from 1938 to 1954.  After the war he established himself in the Rangers side and won four League Championships with the club. He appeared in the first Scottish League Cup Final in April 1947, when Rangers beat Aberdeen 4-0. He earned 24 caps for Scotland.

LB/CB: John Greig (Scotland)
Greig played his entire career with Rangers.  He was voted as the greatest Ranger ever by the fans in 1999.  He scored 120 goals for the club and won three domestic trebles. Greig actually started his career with Rangers as a forward before moving to the defense. He won the 1971–72 European Cup Winners' Cup. He was capped 44 times.  He led Scotland in a famous victory over England, their first defeat as World Cup winner at Wembley. 

CB/ST/CM: Derek Johnstone (Scotland)

Johnstone mainly played as a striker but could also perform in central defence, and in midfield. Uniquely, he was selected to play in defence, midfield, and attack for Scotland.  He spent most of his career with Rangers, but also played briefly with Chelsea and Dundee United. He made his professional debut with Rangers at the age of 16 in 1970.  He was a part of the team that won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1972. He earned 14 caps and went to Argentina 1978.

CM: Graeme Souness (Scotland)
Sounds played for Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Sampdoria, but his greatest achievement came while he played for Liverpool. He was one of the greatest ever Liverpool players.  He won three European Cups with them, captaining the team in the early 1980's.  He was also the Player-Manager for Rangers. He also earned 54 caps for Scotland.
Graeme Souness

CM: Barry Ferguson (Scotland)
Ferguson spent most of his career at Rangers, in two spells either side of a £7.5 million transfer to English club Blackburn Rovers. He totalled 431 games and 60 goals for Rangers, whom he captained from 2000. Ferguson won the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup five times apiece for Rangers, including a treble in 2003 which earned him the honour of SFWA Footballer of the Year. He also helped them to the 2008 UEFA Cup Final.

CM/LM: Jim Baxter  (Scotland)
He was the best Scottish players in the 1960's.  He was known for his performances against England at an era where England won the World Cup.  He helped Scotland beating England many times. Baxter was known for his career with Rangers.  Nicknamed "Slim Jim", he won 10 titles with them. He moved to Sunderland in 1965 and then, Nottingham Forest in 1967.

RW: Willie Henderson (Scotland)
He was also part of the Rangers team that got to the finals of the 1960–61 and 1966–67 Cup Winners Cup competitions, and was part of the Rangers campaign that won the trophy in the 1972 season. He was not involved in the Final against Dinamo Moscow. He had left Rangers just prior, having fallen out with the then manager, Willie Waddell. Henderson signed for Sheffield Wednesday for the 1972–73 season and spent three years playing in Hong Kong. Capped 29 times.  He earned his first cap as a 18 years old.
Willie Henderson
RW/AM/SS: Brian Laudrup (Denmark)
He won the Danish Footballer of the Year award a record four times.  He played 82 games and scored 21 goals for Denmark, and was a key player of the Danish teams who won the Euro 1992 and 1995 Confederations cup.

LW: Alan Morton (Scotland)
Alan Morton was an early star player for Scotland.  He was part of the "Wembley Wizards" after Scotland beat England 5-1 in 1928.  Between 1913 and 1920, he played for Queen's Park F.C. as an amateur. In 1920, he turned professional by joining Rangers. He won the Scottish Football League in 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931, and as a Scottish Cup winner in 1930.

LW: David Cooper (Scotland)
Cooper played as a winger for Clydebank (twice), Rangers and Motherwell. He scored a memorable goal against Celtic in the 1979 Drybrough Cup Final. It was voted the greatest ever Rangers goal by Rangers fans and listed by The Guardian's Rob Smyth as the second greatest ever solo goal, after Diego Maradona's Goal of the Century. He capped 22 caps and played in Mexico 1986.
David Cooper

AM: Paul Gascoigne (England)
Gazza was the most gifted player of his generation, but his career was marked controversy and injuries.  He made his debut with Newcastle United before moving to Tottenham Hotspur.  After impressing at Italia 1990, he moved to Lazio.  However, his career there was marked with injuries and incidents off the field.  In 1995, he joined Rangers with a club record fee. He had a successful career at Rangers, but he left in 1998 and went to play for many clubs all over the WC Finals.  For the national team, he earned 57 times.  He was remembered for the tears in his eyes as he received his yellow card against West Germany in the semi-final.

ST: John McPherson (Scotland)
McPherson played with his local side Kilmarnock F.C. and Cowlairs before he joined Rangers in 1890 for the inaugural Scottish League season.  His first League appearance was in Rangers' first ever Scottish League match, on 16 August 1890 against Hearts at Ibrox, in which McPherson scored.  Rangers won their first league title in the 1898–99 season.  They won all of their 18 League matches, with McPherson netting 10 times. That remarkable season was the first of four consecutive League titles. he was capped 9 times.

ST: RC Hamilton  (Scotland)
Hamilton played with local side Elgin City and Queen's Park.  In 1896, he relocated to Glasgow to attend the University of Glasgow. A year later he joined Rangers, where he remained until 1907. He was the club's top goalscorer for nine consecutive seasons. He was top scorer, played every match and captained the team during the 1898–99 season, in which they won every match. He earned further League winners medals in 1899-00, 1900–01 and 1901–02 and was part of Rangers' Scottish Cup winning sides in 1898 and 1903. He earned 11 caps, scoring 15 goals, 4 of which came at the famous 11-0 win over Ireland in 1901.

ST: Bob McPhail (Scotland)
During McPhail's 12 years at Ibrox, he won 9 League championships and 6 Scottish Cups - a joint record number of Scottish Cup wins for a Rangers player (Dougie Gray also won 6) and a record shared with former Celtic stars Jimmy McMenemy and Billy McNeill. He scored a total of 230 League goals 354 League Apps for the club, a record which stood for over 50 years before being broken by Ally McCoist in 1997. He had 17 caps.

ST: Mark Hateley (England)
Hateley made his name with Coventry and Portsmouth before moving to AC Milan in 1984.  He played with AS Monaco before moving to Rangers in 1990. He won both SFWA and PFA Players of the Season for the 1993-1994 season. He won six league titles. He earned 32 caps,  and went to Mexico 1986 and Euro 1988.

ST: Ally McCoist (Scotland)
McCoist played with St Johnstone and Sunderland. In 1983, he signed with Rangers. McCoist had a highly successful spell with Rangers, becoming the club's record goalscorer and winning nine successive league championships between 1988–89 and 1996–97. He won both SFWA and PFA Players of the Season for the 1991-1992 season. He won two European Golden Shoe. He later played for Kilmarnock. McCoist was inducted into the Scotland Football Hall of Fame, having gained 61 international caps.
Mark Hateley and Ally McCoist

Honorable Mention
Derek Johnstone, Bobby Brown, Chris Woods, Gary Stevens, Willie Wadell, David Weir, Arthur Numan,  Kai Johansen, Ronald De Boer, Jorge Albertz, Ian Durrant, Colin Stein, Michael Mols.

Squad Explanation
-- I have difficulty choosing between Stefan Klos, Bobby Brown and Chris Woods.
-- Barry Ferguson took the team to 2008 UEFA Cup Final.  It was a big achievement.
-- I tried to mix this squad with older and modern players, but I have problems rating the older players. Dougie Gray was a fullback, but I did not know which side. I do not know how to rate Neilly Gibson, Nicol Smith and David Meiklejohn against the modern players.

-- Gough was an iconic player for the club than Terry Butcher.  He was the captain at one of Rangers' greatest eras.  
-- Young is used as a centerback so that Jardine could also play.

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