Rangers fans will walk, cycle and swim to Seville if they have to, jokes Giovanni van Bronckhorst – as boss predicts Scottish invasion of Spain after booking a place in their first European final since 2008
- Rangers secured their place in the Europa League final by beating RB Leipzig
- A stunning 3-1 win at Ibrox means they will play Eintracht Frankfurt in the final
- The mad scramble for flights, tickets and hotels began after the final whistle
- Van Bronckhorst warned Seville to prepare for a Rangers invasion for the final
Giovanni van Bronckhorst last night warned the city of Seville to prepare for a Rangers invasion.
A stunning 3-1 win over RB Leipzig on a night of Ibrox drama secured a meeting with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final on May 18.
And, as the scramble for flights, tickets and accommodation began minutes after the final whistle, proud boss van Bronckhorst joked of supporters swimming and cycling to Spain in a quest to see their side contest their first European final since 2008.
Rangers reached the final of the Europa League after John Lundstram’s 80th minute goal
It will be the first time they have contested a final since their 2008 UEFA Cup defeat
Speaking after a John Lundstram goal nine minutes from time sealed a 3-2 aggregate victory and sparked a mad rush to get to Seville the Dutchman said: ‘Everywhere we go, we have very loyal supporters. There were many in Leipzig and Dortmund.
‘It doesn’t matter how many hours they have to fly, or to walk, or to go by bike – maybe some will swim!
‘But we will be well represented in the stadium and also in the city of Seville. They have to enjoy it as well.
‘We have a great support everywhere, they always behave really well. That’s very important for the club – we want the image in Europe that we can behave ourselves in every city we go. We are going to try everything to win the final.’
Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst credited supporters for helping them get over the line
Beaten 1-0 in Germany the Scottish champions overhauled the first leg deficit inside 23 minutes.
Captain James Tavernier became the highest scorer in the Europa League this season when he opened the scoring – Glen Kamara adding a second five minutes later.
RB Leipzig levelled the tie with a stunning Christopher Nkunku volley after 71 minutes – before Lundstram’s close range finish shook a shuddering Ibrox to its foundations.
Propelled to victory by a stunning atmosphere Van Bronckhorst credited supporters with getting his side over the line.
‘You always want to be successful and win for the fans. It’s the same for us.
‘Our fans are amazing, they give us the strength at home but also away. It will be a 50-50 split in the stadium. It’s a final to enjoy and also to win.’
After beating tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig a third Bundesliga opponent now lies in wait in the final after Eintracht’s 1-0 home win over West Ham sealed a 3-1 aggregate victory. A Champions League winner with Barcelona, Van Bronckhorst admits there is now no reason Rangers can’t go on and win the trophy
Van Bronckhorst warned Seville which will host the final to prepare for a Rangers invasion
‘It always starts with belief. Anything you do – not just football – you have to believe in something, you have to work towards a goal.
‘Do we believe we can win the final? Of course we can win the final.
‘But we are going to respect the opponent and prepare well for the game against Frankfurt.’
Rangers took time out from their post match celebrations to raise a toast to long-standing kitman Jimmy Bell following his untimely death in the days leading up to the game
‘I have played many games here as a player but and been here since last November at the manager.
‘But the atmosphere tonight was just incredible. That helped us a lot and you could see the celebrations afterwards. We were happy to reach the final.
‘In the locker room it was really nice but we ended the atmosphere of partying and took a moment to let the achievement sink in and also have really nice thoughts of Jimmy the kitman. I am sure he was watching us from above.
‘We toasted his life, his achievements and all he did for this football club. We will miss him for the rest of our lives.
‘In Seville we will prepare well and make sure we create another proud moment for this club.’
Propelled to victory by the opening goal from Tavernier, the Rangers right-back’s seventh Europa League goal of the campaign made him the competition’s top scorer.
He has warned his side against over-confidence ahead of the final with Eintracht Frankfurt
‘I think we have to change numbers next year! I think we are going to give him a higher number because he is scoring so many goals.
‘He had a moment last week where he just missed the ball from Ryan Kent’s cross.
‘We told him to be at the back post every time we came through on the left.
‘He has scored so many goals in that position and I am very happy for him as the captain of this team. It’s a very proud moment for him as well.’
Despite beating two Bundesliga sides en route to the final the Rangers boss warned against over-confidence before facing Eintracht.
‘They beat Barcelona, that’s a great achievement. We have to congratulate Frankfurt as well for reaching the final, they have played amazing games as well in Europe. We have to prepare well for this game.
‘I know for sure that they will too. We are going to enjoy the final and make it a great final, give everything we can like we have done in so many games in Europe and give everything to win it.’
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