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Rangers 2008 UEFA Cup final XI and where they are now ahead of Europa League final showdown


14 years after their last European final, Rangers are preparing to play another.

They have a date with fate against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville this Wednesday.

The competition may be called the Europa League these days, but the Ibrox club have reached the final hurdle in their previous incarnation as the UEFA Cup.

A 2-0 loss to Russian stars Zenit St Petersburg was painful for Glasgow’s blue half.

Two of their 2007/08 squad are set to play at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan this week, proving the incredible longevity they have shown over glittering careers.

Sadly, legendary manager Walter Smith passed away last year, although the current crop may honor him and the late Jimmy Bell by lifting the trophy in Spain.

soccer scotland take a look at the starting XI that night at the City of Manchester Stadium [now the Etihad] and where their careers have taken them since.

neil alexander

The goalkeeper got his last chance after Allan McGregor was ruled out with injury.

Moved to Crystal Palace before making a league-winning return to Hearts in 2014.

Stays in Aberdeen, Livingston and Dunfermline followed. Retired from playing in 2018 and became goalkeeping coach for Dundee United and is currently part of John Highes’ behind-the-scenes team at Dunfermline.

Kirk Broadfoot

Left Rangers in 2012 after the club went into liquidation and joined Blackpool before moving to Rotherham United.

Returned to Scotland in 2017 with Kilmarnock then returned a year later after a short stint with St Mirren.

Joined Inverness CT last summer and could help bring the Highlanders back to the Premiership with a final play-off clash with St Johnstone coming this week.

David Weier

The veteran defender retired in 2012 and had a short spell in charge of Sheffield United after initially coaching at Everton.

He returned to Ibrox as an assistant to Mark Warburton after the pair worked together at Brentford.

Left after the dismissal of Warburton in 2017, he is now technical director of Brighton, the English Premier League team.

Carlos Cuellar

The Spanish centre-back left Rangers just months after the 2008 final, joining Aston Villa in a £2.3million deal.

Spent four years at Villa Park before joining Sunderland, then Norwich City from the Stadium of Light.

He returned to Spain with Almeria in 2015 before moving through several Israeli clubs before his retirement in 2019.

Sasa Papac

Rangers’ Viktor Fayzulin (left) and Sasa Papac

The Bosnian left-back was a heavy favorite at Ibrox.

A lingering groin injury caused problems towards the end of his time at Govan, and he was forced to retire after leaving the club in 2012.

Had a stint as technical director of Zeljeznicar in his native country but left there in 2018.

He was recently back at Ibrox for a legends game to mark the club’s 150th anniversary.

Brahim Hemdani

The Algerian was something of a European specialist for Rangers, Walter Smith regularly recruiting him in midfield for the big Euro nights.

The final turned out to be his last game for the Light Blues after he was frozen the following season and left in January 2009.

Barry Ferguson

The 2008 final ended up being the only final Ferguson ever lost as a player.

His second spell at his boyhood club ended in July 2009 when he left for Birmingham City.

He tasted League Cup success with the St Andrews club under Alex McLeish.

Spent three years at Blackpool which included a loan spell at Fleetwood Town before hanging up his boots.

His managerial career saw him take charge of Clyde before managing Kelty Hearts at the SPFL.

Alloa’s move to manager didn’t go well and Ferguson was sacked earlier this season.

Is a regular radio pundit and newspaper columnist these days.

Kevin Thomson

Rangers' Kevin Thomson (left) and Steven Whittaker (right) and Viktor Fayzulin
Rangers’ Kevin Thomson (left) and Steven Whittaker (right) and Viktor Fayzulin

Thomson left Rangers two years after Manchester lost to Zenit, signing for Gordon Strachan’s Middlesborough.

However, injuries hampered his time at Teeside and he joined training club Hibs in 2013.

The Hibees suffered relegation the following season, however, and Thomson signed a one-year contract with Dundee.

Was back at Easter Road for a third spell a year later and helped the Easter Road club win the 2016 Scottish Cup.

Ended his playing career with a brief stint at Tranent Juniors before returning to Rangers as academy coach.

Replaced former team-mate Ferguson as Kelty Hearts boss last summer and led them to the League Two title this campaign.

Steven Whittaker

Left Ibrox after its liquidation in 2012 to sign for Norwich City.

Spent five years at Carrow Road before joining Hibs in 2017.

Three years at Easter Road ended when he signed for Dunfermline and most recently coached the first team until agreeing to become Scott Brown’s assistant at Fleetwood Town last week.

Steven Davis

Incredibly, is about to play his second European final with the Gers, 14 years after the last.

Spent seven years at Southampton from 2012-17, then returned to Rangers for a second stint, initially on loan.

He’s unlikely to start at Sevilla and he’s out of contract at the end of the season, but what better way to sign than with a Europa League winners’ medal?

Jean-Claude Darcheville

Led the line for Rangers that night, but left the club the following January to return to France with Valenciennes.

Spent a year in Greece before returning to France and retiring in 2014.

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