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Rangers in Seville: Fans in Spain and watching from home prepare for historic Europa League final

© Andrew Milligan/PA WireRangers fans in the Plaza de Espana in Seville
Rangers fans in the Plaza de Espana in Seville

Rangers fans at home and in Seville are counting down the hours until kick-off on one of the biggest nights in the club’s history.

The Ibrox side’s incredible Europa League run culminates in a final showdown with Eintracht Frankfurt tonight at the Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

Around 100,000 fans are estimated to have travelled to Spain, with just 9,500 holding gold-dust tickets to the game.

The rest will watch on from across the city at the 60,000-capacity La Cartuja Stadium, where the game will be beamed onto the big screens, and other venues hosting events.

The road to Seville: From Malmo to Leipzig, Rangers’ route to the Europa League final

Injured striker Alfredo Morelos was among those pictured soaking up the atmosphere as fans gathered in the sweltering sunshine.

Rangers legends including Ally McCoist and Graeme Souness recorded video messages wishing the players luck and reminding fans to stay safe and well-behaved.

Spanish police are on alert for any trouble flaring up in the city, and last night confirmed the arrests of five Germans after a group of Eintracht Frankfurt fans attacked Rangers fans with flares.

Back home

Fans who weren’t able to head to Seville will gather in the hope of seeing their team make history in their first European final since 2008.

Rangers bars like The Louden Tavern in Glasgow have seen huge queues outside, with many other venues expecting full houses tonight.

Glasgow City Council, meanwhile, have removed benches and put up fences in George Square in anticipation of crowds gathering this evening.

The game will be shown on BT Sport, and will be free to view on their YouTube channel, app and via Virgin Media TV.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Wishing @RangersFC the very best of luck in Seville tonight!”

The final also got a mention at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Boris Johnson told the House of Commons: “I know members across the House will want to join me in offering our best wishes to Rangers for this evening’s match in Seville.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also offered his best wishes, adding it has been “quite an extraordinary story in the last few years” for Rangers.

Final ‘means the world’ to players

Club captain James Tavernier said making it to the final “means the world” to the players.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the great team behind us, the boss directing us,” he said.

“It is obviously one step away and we all want to make history and bring that cup back home.

“I know all the boys will give 110 per cent when asked and we will leave everything out on the pitch and hopefully we will make everyone proud.”

The 30-year-old is currently the competition’s top goalscorer, and has seen great progress since joining Rangers in the Scottish Championship in 2015.

“Over the years we have recruited very good players, especially this team that I’m playing in now,” he said.

“It’s the best changing room I’ve been in. We’ve got a mixture of youth and experience. Come matchday, you now know one another and we will go to the death for one another.

“In any situation, I know the boys will prevail and the character of every single one of them will shine through.

“It’s a delight to be captain of these boys.”

Rangers fans descend on Seville as anticipation builds for Europa League final

Players ‘will become heroes’

Ibrox legend Mark Hateley hailed the club’s achievement in making it to the final.

He said Tavernier and his fellow players will become heroes if they lift the Europa League trophy in Seville.

With less cash in Scottish football than in some other European leagues, he said getting to the final is “up there with some of the greatest achievements of Scottish clubs”.

Hateley told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “In the modern game of football where cash is king and there’s not a lot of that around in Scottish football, to be able to emulate the top echelons of European football clubs, it’s remarkable, it is up there.

“Rangers have been one of the best teams in this competition, from a really slow start it must be said, but they’ve got better, grown into it.

“I think Gio (manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst) coming in has helped the football club and the team well.

“He’s taken that forward and that belief forward and turned us into finalists, and he’s done it in some style.”

Sir Kenny Dalglish: My message to Rangers is: ‘Give it everything you’ve got, and have no regrets’

The Europa League final comes just over a decade after Rangers entered administration, resulting in the club dropping down to the third division in Scottish football.

Hateley said: “It’s a great period for the football club at the moment, they have come from relatively zero to heroes very, very quickly over a period that has become a difficult period for them, coming back through the leagues.”

He added that hopefully the team can “enjoy the final and make themselves heroes”.