Meet the Rangers near-miss out to wreck England’s World Cup

Costa Rica Fans with Flag

Celso Borges isn’t a household name on these shores, but back in 2009 he was linked to Glasgow Rangers and could soon be a popular figure in Scotland.

Back in 1990 Costa Rica shocked the football world, and plenty of Scotland fans, by finishing above the Tartan Army and a highly-rated Sweden side to qualify for the second round of the World Cup finals in Italy.

Back then Alexandre Borges Guimarães was something of an outsider, born in Brazil, the striker nevertheless played an important part in Costa Rica’s march to the knockout stages, featuring three times for the national side in what remains their best-ever result at the tournament.

Some 24 years on and while Borges may have moved into football management, with his most recent job comin at Tianjin Teda in China, his son, Celso, is all set to fly the family flag again at a World Cup and could be about to upset another of the home nations on the biggest stage of all.

It’s easy to describe Borges jr as something of an unknown quantity on these shores, but it could have been very different for the Costa Rica midfielder had a move to Glasgow Rangers come to fruition.

Back in 2009, Borges was hot property, having impressed as a youngster for Costa Rican Primera Division side Saprissa during a four-year stint with the club.

Though still something of a diamond in the rough, Rangers were thought to be one of a number of clubs tracking the midfielder, who was available for a nominal fee and, while in his early 20s, had huge potential for the future.

Instead, one-time Champions League finalist Jerome Rothen was the only major summer arrival on a season-long loan that ultimately proved underwhelming, as manager Walter Smith opted to stick with the current options in his squad.

Borges, meanwhile, moved to Norway with Fredrikstad FK for a paltry €125,000, where he went on to rack up an impressive 44 goals in three season before switching to AIK in Stockholm, Sweden on a free transfer.

Since then the 26-year-old has been both a mainstay of the AIK side, scoring and providing assists aplenty for the Stockholm giants, with one particular highlight being a 30-yard-screamer against old rivals Helsingborgs.

Now set to line up against Uruguay, Italy and, most notably, England, the midfielder, who is known for his shooting and tacking skills, may be about to earn a special place in the hearts of Scotland fans everywhere with an impressive showing against the Three Lions.

Borges was certainly in his element against the Republic of Ireland in a recent friendly encounter, leading a 10-man team to a 1-1 draw that came via a penalty he converted.

He certainly won’t be intimidated about having to face the likes of Steven Gerrard, as evidenced by an interview last month.

'I won't feel intimidated, they're just the same as me, they just happen to be playing in a better league," he said.

'I don't think there's any difference between not only me, but us Costa Ricans and England or Italy - that's just how the game is.”

He may be currently filed under the ‘what if’ category for Rangers but when it comes to upsetting England he’s definitely shaping up to be a ‘could be’ option.

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