Rangers’ Balogun: Incredible to end Celtic‘s Scottish Premiership title dominance



The Nigeria international is delighted to be part of the Gers’ side that won their 55th Scottish top-flight trophy

Rangers centre-back Leon Balogun has revealed his side were over the moon after ending Celtic’s Scottish Premiership title dominance.

The Nigeria international teamed up with the Ibrox Stadium outfit last summer as a free agent after leaving Wigan Athletic.

The defender has been a consistent performer for the Gers since his arrival at the club and recently helped Steven Gerrard’s side clinch the Scottish Premiership title after a 10-year wait.

The trophy is the first for the Super Eagles defender in his career and he revealed he dreamt of achieving the feat with the Gers, and was particularly delighted his side ended the winning streak of their arch-rivals, Celtic.

“The cool thing about this is that I’m part of a team that has tried in the past few years to stop the other side of town and polish up the Rangers logo,” Balogun told Sport 1.

“It never happened and this season the big topic was to stop their ’10 In A Row’ which neither team has yet succeeded in doing.

“That’s what makes the story so much bigger, especially in view of the recent past. Sure, for me it’s the first league title in my career. But I have to let that sink in first.

“For the last six months of my contract with Brighton & Hove Albion, I played at Wigan Athletic. When my boys there heard that I was going to join Rangers, they all said to me ‘unbelievable, that’s awesome, you’ll love that’.

“And I said to Chey Dunkley ‘just watch, I’ll be holding that trophy at the end of the season’. The easiest thing was to dream about it. Putting it into practice was a different matter.

“There are other guys in my team who have seen so much and had to put up with so much from the other side of town. Hence the title has a much greater meaning for them. But it was a successful first year for me.”

The rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is so fierce that none of the Gers stars speaks the name of their rivals and Balogun quickly adapted to it on his arrival.

“I got used to that right away. I don’t say the name of this other team, I always say, ‘the ones from the other side of town’,” he continued. 

“The rivalry between us and the club on the other side of town is incredible. The tenth title that club was aiming for was the big theme this season.

“Honestly I still have no real idea of this rivalry because no fans are allowed to be there yet.

“I get an insight through social media, or the last time before the game when we arrived at the stadium and the streets were full of fans and the police had to guide us through.

“But even then my teammates said to me ‘Leon, you haven’t seen anything yet’. I still have no idea how crazy our fans are, what it feels like to play in front of them.”

Balogun has made 27 appearances for Rangers this season across all competitions and will be expected to feature when the Gers take on Slavia Praha in a Europa League game on Thursday.



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