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When Rangers' lifetime memory turned sour with little hope of returning - Opinion

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It was just a moment in time, but for Rangers fans, it’s a memory that will last a lifetime.

The 2008 UEFA Cup Final is a day not well remembered in the memories of the average football fan, but for Rangers fans, it’s one of the most heartbreaking days of their lives.

A journey to the final that began in June, 10 months before the fateful game against Zenit, Rangers were not focused on winning the UEFA Cup but instead trying to get into another competition, the Champions League.

It remains the last time a Scottish side has made it to a European cup final, and will likely remain as such for years to come.

Up to 200,000 fans flocked to the city despite only 13,000 tickets being allocated to Rangers fans.

Placed with Barcelona, Lyon and Stuttgart, it wasn’t going to be an easy task to make it out, but Rangers got off to a flyer beating Stuttgart 2-1, followed by a 3-0 win away in France, and then a respectable 0-0 at home against a Barca side that started the game with a front three of Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi.

Starting their European dream in the second qualifying round in July 2007, Walter Smith’s side breezed past FK Zeta into the next round of Champions League qualifying where again the Scottish side waltzed through with a 1-0 aggregate win against Red Star Belgrade – putting the Gers’ into the group stages.
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