Nigerian Internationals Balogun, Aribo Win Scottish Title With Rangers

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Super Eagles stars Leon Balogun and Joe Aribo have won the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers after Celtic’s 0-0 draw against Dundee United on Sunday, ending Celtic’s nine-year dominance of the top-flight division.

Celtic needed to take maximum points from their trip to Dundee’s Tannadice Park after Rangers’ 3-0 win against St Mirren on Saturday took them to the brink of securing its first Premiership title since 2011. Ryan Kent, Alfredo Morelos and Ianis Hagi scored against St Mirren as Rangers continued their unbeaten Premiership run.

It is Steven Gerrard’s first trophy as Rangers manager after taking over in the summer of 2018.

Gerrard and his players were met by thousands of Rangers supporters at Ibrox ahead of the game on Saturday as crowds gathered to let off flares and hang banners near the stadium, breaking lockdown restrictions.

Gerrard said that, while he hoped all supporters stayed safe, he understood the outpouring of emotion given the journey that the fans have been on since they were demoted all the way down to the Third Division after liquidation in 2012.

“Bubbling. Bubbling. I’m obviously really, really happy and proud right now,” said Gerrard after the St Mirren game. “I can certainly relate to these emotions that I’ve had as a player. At the same time I want to stay controlled and humble because obviously it’s not confirmed as of yet.”

“But I think everyone knows it’s 99.99 per cent done. Because of what’s going on right now in the world it’s very difficult to get carried away and celebrate for real if you like.

“So I’m trying to keep a lid on things,” Gerrard added.

Rangers’ 55th Scottish top-flight title comes at the end of Gerrard’s third season at the club, and the Liverpool legend says the victory is for the club’s fans.

Rangers supporters celebrating Scottish Premiership triumph at the Ibrox stadium

“I had a good idea what it would be like,”  Gerrard added. “The day I turned up here on May 4, 2018, I didn’t expect to turn up to 8,000 fans outside the stadium who had to be brought inside for safety reasons.”

“So I had a real good idea that once we got that first big success together, which was always going to be the hardest, what the reaction would be like. During a pandemic, you think maybe it wouldn’t be like it was today. But what you saw today is 10 years of what these supporters have been through.”

“I’m delighted for them and really proud of the players’ efforts because they have been outstanding. From a league point of view, they have been close to perfect,” he said.

Super Eagles star Leon Balogun also shared a few words about Rangers’ title triumph.

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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