Rangers: top 30 players: Number five

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His time at Rangers was interrupted by the lure of the Premier League, but former captain Barry Ferguson is an all-time great at Ibrox.

 

By the age of 20, Barry Ferguson had made just 12 appearances for Rangers in all competitions after being eased gently into the first team by Walter Smith, but after the legendary boss left and Dick Advocaat took over, the midfielder proved to be a revelation.

 

Ferguson was influential as Rangers won the domestic treble under the Dutchman, with the young Scot was awarded the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year accolade. The following year, Ferguson played 31 times as Rangers won the SPL by 21 points, and on this occasion, he earned the SFWA Footballer of the Year award. His rise to prominence came with a couple of bumps in the road but it wouldn't be long before he was made captain of the club.

 

He guided Rangers to the Scottish Cup and League Cup during the 2001-02 campaign, but the following season saw him enjoy his best year as a professional. From a team perspective, he captained a treble-winning side, but he also scored 16 goals in the SPL and that was enough to earn him both the SFWA Footballer of the Year and SPFA Players' Player of the Year awards. 

 

Ferguson would depart for Blackburn Rovers but 18 months later, he would be back at Rangers to start another successful stint at the club. After the departure of Paul Le Guen, Ferguson flourished and helped Rangers compete on all fronts, including their famous run to the UEFA Cup final in 2007-08.

 

He would win just one league title in his final four years at the club but that will take nothing away from his standing at Ibrox. Ferguson scored a total of 60 goals in 431 appearances, winning many of his 15 trophies as captain. The club could do with his kind of leadership if and when they return to the top flight next season.

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