The Ibrox club have featured in four previous European flagship meetings, here’s how they fared.
Fiorentina 4 Rangers 1 (Cup Winners’ Cup, 1961)
After losing to Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup semifinals, Rangers only had to wait 12 months before reaching their first European Cup final. The Cup Winners’ Cup was a two-legged affair then, but Scot Symon’s men were opposed to either side of Eric Caldow’s missed penalty after Luigi Milan scored a brace for Fiorentina in the first game at Ibrox. Milan then put the Italians further ahead when he netted 13 minutes into the second leg. Alex Scott gave Rangers a glimmer of hope when he pulled one back on the hour, but Kurt Hamrin sealed a comprehensive overall victory for the Florence men.
Bayern Munich 1 Rangers 0 (Cup Winners’ Cup, 1967)
Just a week after city rivals Celtic became European champions, Rangers had a chance at the Glasgow double in the Cup Winners’ Cup in Nuremberg. The final ended 0-0 for 90 minutes after Roger Hynd – a centre-back who played up front – disallowed a goal for Symon’s team. In the 19th minute of extra time, Franz Roth scored the decisive goal in Bayern’s first European Cup.
Rangers 3 Dynamo Moscow 2 (Cup Winners’ Cup, 1972)
Five years later, Rangers defeated Bayern in the semi-finals and met Dynamo Moscow at Barcelona’s Nou Camp. Willie Waddell’s side took the lead three times in the space of 50 minutes after a goal from Colin Stein and a brace from Willie Johnston. The Russians hit back with two goals in the last half-hour but were unable to deny Rangers their only major European triumph to date. The Rangers support celebrated by invading the pitch, leading to clashes with Spanish police, with Dynamo demanding a replay because it happened before the final whistle. It was never scheduled to be repeated and Rangers kept the trophy given to John Greig in a room at the stadium, but they served a year-long European ban. Greig later said: “One of the officials handed me the trophy without a word and then we were on our way back to the dressing room. It was one of the biggest nights of my career but in the end it was a real slap in the face for Rangers.”
Zenit St Petersburg 2 Rangers 0 (UEFA Cup, 2008)
Rangers fought their way to the UEFA Cup final at the City of Manchester Stadium after being knocked out of the Champions League. Walter Smith’s strong side scored just five goals in eight knockout games, but it was enough to prevail against Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon and Fiorentina. The Ibrox men struggled with a Test playlist towards the end of the season and the final proved too far, although it lasted 72 minutes against a team led by former Ibrox boss Dick Advocaat, with Igor Denisov Zenit ahead of Konstantin Zyryanov brought things to a close in stoppage time. The game was marred by violence and vandalism in the city center where more than 200,000 Gers fans had gathered.
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