As Celtic and Rangers go head to head we as two fans to select their All Time Greatest Teams.
Rangers Greatest XI
GK: Andy Goram - He is the man the Celtic fans love to hate, such is the frustration they had for the man known as the 'flying Caravan'. He had blocked so many shots in his time as Rangers No.1, it sometimes looked impossible to get past him. He had the ability to marshal his defence perfectly and his passion for his club was as legendary as his ability to wind up the long suffering Celtic fans. 8
LB: Sandy Jardine - Jardine had true athletic prowess that could rival many of the best left-backs in current world football, even after 90 minutes he never looked tired. His versatility for Rangers was one of his greatest assets, along with his overall ability and his calm demeanour on the ball. 7
RB: Jim Baxter - He is one of a few players that is unanimously respected in Scotland, such is the legend of his skill and grace on the ball. When Scotland humbled England 3-2 in 1967 he was so confident in his own ability he started playing keepy-uppies in front of the team that had just won the World Cup, leading all Scottish fans of any allegiance to remember him forever. 9
CB: Terry Butcher - The blood smeared image of Butcher in an England shirt is well known throughout the world, as was his rock solid performances for his club team, Rangers. One of the big imports to the Glasgow club when English clubs were banned from European competition, Terry Butcher remains one of the reasons Rangers were a force in the eighties. 8
CB: John Greig - One of the reasons why the Scottish hall of fame was set up is to remember the contribution players like Greig had on Scottish football, as well as the way they were ambassadors for the Scottish game. A true battler in the days that Celtic and Jock Stein dominated the Scottish league, he held the standard high for all Rangers players and made sure the club was heard during those less trophy laden times. 8
LM: Iain Durant - A horrific injury in his youth at the hands of Neil Simpson left him a changed player, but glimpses of what could have been for Durant came about in his part of the campaign of 92/93 that equalled rivals Celtic with their 9-in-a-row league best. His presence is continued at Ibrox as the right hand man to Walter Smith. 7
"He was so confident in his own ability he started playing keepy-uppies in front of the team that had just won the World Cup"
RM: Derek Johnstone - One Rangers player that could play all over the park, even though he started off as a striker. He went on to score more than 200 goals for Rangers as well as appearing over 500 times for the club. He never achieved as much with Scotland as he did at Ibrox but he is adored by the fans for his contribution and love for the club. 9
CM: Graeme Souness - Whether he was a player or coach of Rangers, his dedication for the club was legendary. His temper sometimes got him on the wrong side of referees but the collection of silverware in the Ibrox trophy cabinet owes much to this man. 9
CM: Brian Laudrup - The debate rages between Celtic fans and Rangers fans over Henrik Larsson and Laudrup's influence on the league and who was the better player. But ask fans of any club and they will tell you that seeing Laudrup in his heyday, he was as impressive to watch as any home grown hero. The “Prince of Denmark' left Rangers with a huge hole than many since have tried, and failed, to fill. 10
CF: Davie Cooper - A Scottish hall of fame legend that had more skill than pace to beat his man. A true Rangers icon that tragically died early due to a brain haemorrhage, he is remembered by all Scottish fans as a true great and it was his partnership that allowed Derek Johnstone to score as many goals as he did. 8
CF: Ally McCoist - The man who could fall in Glasgow's river Clyde and still come out with a Salmon, Super Ally deserves his place as one of the best strikers in the county's history with a goal ratio of more than a goal every two games. Much to many Rangers fans relief he never was a hit south of the border and the Glasgow giants profited when he returned to ply his trade in his native Scotland. 9
Final Score: 92
Celtic Greatest XI
GK: Ronnie Simpson – Simpson didn’t move to Celtic until the ripe old age of 34, having played for amateurs Queen’s Park and later Third Lanark, Newcastle and Hibs. But he packed a lot into the Indian Summer of his career, keeping net during the victorious 1967 European Cup final and Scotland’s famous 3-2 win over England that same year. 7
RB: Danny McGrain – Currently a coach with the reserves, McGrain was a powerful, composed full back, hard as nails but equally deft with the ball at his feet. Made over 650 appearances for Celtic and won 62 caps for Scotland. 8
CB: Billy McNeill – ‘Cesar’ was captain of the victorious Lisbon Lions. ‘Nuff said. 9
CB: Paul McStay – OK, so he’s slightly out of position at centre half, but McStay – the Maestro – would have handled it. He spent his entire career at Celtic, captaining the club for his last seven years. An intelligent, creative midfield general. 7
LB: Tommy Gemmell – A marauding full back, his spectacular goal in the Lisbon ’67 final was the equaliser that turned the game. He also bagged one in the 1970 European Cup final, making him one of only two British footballers to have scored in two European Cup finals (the other being Phil Neal). 8
RM: Jimmy Johnstone – Scottish footballers might be accused of lacking technical ability these days, but “Jinky” was one of the finest dribblers to ever pull on a football strip. His trickery decimated Inter’s defence – one of the best back fours the game has seen – in the famous 1967 cup final. He was voted Celtic’s greatest ever player in a fans’ poll in 2002. 10
CM: Bobby Murdoch – Formed a rock-solid partnership with Bertie Auld in midfield that proved even more watertight than the catenaccio of Inter. Plagued by injuries in his career, his importance to Celtic was highlighted by Jock Stein’s response to the question of when Celtic might next win the European Cup: “When Bobby Murdoch is fit”. 8
Scottish footballers might be accused of lacking technical ability these days, but “Jinky” was one of the finest dribblers to ever pull on a football strip.
CM: Bertie Auld – Auld started at Celtic as a left winger, scoring one in three from out wide, before moving to the middle of the park to play alongside Bobby Murdoch. The two rocks in midfield held together the great 1967 side. 8
LM: Bobby Lennox – The seventh Lisbon Lion to make this list – sorry, but can you blame me? – Lennox was a left winger with an eye for goal, managing more than one in two for Celtic, a record most strikers can only dream of. Among his fans were Bobby Charlton and Alfredo Di Stefano. 9
CF: Henrik Larsson – Without doubt Celtic’s finest overseas player (and my first and greatest love). His 315 games returned 243 goals, a ratio rarely matched in the modern game. Spells at Barcelona – where he set up two goals in the 2006 Champions League final – and Man Utd dispelled the notion that he couldn’t cut it at the top level. A truly world class footballer. 10
CF: Jimmy McGrory – Nicknamed ‘The Mermaid’ for his extraordinary leap, Jimmy McGrory is quite simply one of the greatest strikers of all time. Despite retiring in 1937, he still holds the record for most career goals in British football, a whopping 550 from just 547 games. Sadly, an establishment – ie Rangers – bias meant he was largely overlooked by the Scotland selectors, playing only seven times (and managing six goals). 10
Final Score: 94
Very unlucky Rangers fans, but with the narrowest of two point margins, it looks like Celtic have just shaded it here. More than likely with a deflected effort that bounced in off Larsson's arse or a stray backpass that Andy Goram inexplicably allowed to bobble over his foot.
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