Christian Nerlinger issues warning to Rangers as he claims Eintracht Frankfurt are wearing ‘a different pair of shoes’ in Europe

They trampled on the best of the Bundesliga.

But former Rangers star Christian Nerlinger has warned Rangers they will have to watch their steps at Sevilla if they are to score a remarkable hat-trick against German opposition en route to Europa League glory.

After knocking out knockout opponents Borussia Dortmund from the competition before battling RB Leipzig in the last four, Gio van Bronckhorst’s men are just 90 minutes away from completing their fantasy adventure.

All that stands in their way is a shootout with Eintracht Frankfurt and an Ibrox fanbase who have already seen their team achieve the unimaginable and now believe they are on the verge of fulfilling their destiny.

After taking care of business against a Dortmund side second only to perennial German champions Bayern Munich and a Leipzig side who could still make the top four, they strongly imagine seeing Oliver Glasner’s side – currently 11th in the Bundesliga table. 14 points behind fifth-placed Leipzig.

But former Ibrox ace Nerlinger had a nice way of summing up those looking to pit Frankfurt’s failing domestic displays against their exhilarating European exploits, insisting they’d compare a pair of maroon oxfords with boat shoes.

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They may fit the same foot, but the final look may be very different.

And Nerlinger insists the Slipper Kickers have already proven they can walk the continent.

Asked if Gers should be confident to face a side so far behind their previous German conquests, Nerlinger said Save sport “Well, Bayern Munich fans said the same thing when they came up against Villarreal. They were eighth in La Liga but it was Bayern who got knocked out.

“But European football and league football are two different pairs of shoes.

“Frankfurt might not be that high in the Bundesliga, but they did very well in the Europa League, knocking out Barcelona and now West Ham.

“In the end, this final will come down to 90 minutes and there is a lot of pressure on that. It’s about how you handle it.

“Frankfurt is a very tactical team. They had some changes at the start of the season with the sporting director and the technical staff.

“They had a tough start but Oliver Glasner knows how to win games.

“You saw the amazing scenes after the game with the fans on the pitch, so it’s going to be an amazing final.

“For me, it’s 50-50 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go all the way to extra time and penalties.

“But for me, the crucial thing for both managers is to tell the players to ignore the pressure and enjoy the day. To get this far is special, so enjoy it.



Christian Nerlinger

The secret is out on the Gers and Frankfurt will have no excuse to be caught off guard by van Bronckhorst’s side after seeing the Ibrox men go without their compatriots for the second time.

But Nerlinger said: “There’s no way Frankfurt will take Rangers lightly after seeing what they’ve done to other German teams.

“But believe me, Leipzig neither. I know Domenico Tedesco very well and he didn’t underestimate Rangers.

“It was a massive game for them as they look to win their first ever title in club history.

“They pulled out all the stops but Rangers deserved to get through both games, which I congratulate the whole club on.”

Rangers legions may have resisted the urge to spill onto the pitch like the Frankfurt faithful as the final whistle sounded in their semi-final win over West Ham, but the frenzy and passion that were sweeping Ibrox were no less powerful.

However, Nerlinger insists that would be a disservice to the calm and control that van Bronckhorst’s troops showed amid the mania to credit the former venue’s epic final Euro night as the factor. decisive of a famous victory.

He said: “Rangers getting to a European grand final is an incredible achievement.

“There’s always a big question about how Scottish teams can compete in Europe, but this Rangers side are playing amazing football.

“They have a coaching staff with Gio van Bronckhorst and Roy Makaay who understand the DNA of Scottish football and Rangers.

“On top of that, they have a solid understanding of the structures of modern football and when you combine that with a committed team and a place as special as Ibrox, it gives you something extraordinary.

“Ibrox is one of the biggest and loudest arenas in world football.

“There is the Camp Nou, there is the Bernabeu and Ibrox must be seen in the same light.

“For me, playing there remains one of the most cherished experiences of my football career. It’s really special.

“But a stadium does not automatically give you the key to success.

“The stadium can give the players such a boost, but at the same time if you have a team that doesn’t know how to work or how to handle the pressure, it can always play against them.

“So you need everything to work together and at the moment the way Rangers are playing against top opponents – and for me Dortmund and Leipzig are Champions League sides – is amazing.

“I can only imagine what is happening in the city right now. It must be a big party.

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