Rangers new boy Kranjcar won't be intimidated by Old Firm rivalry

Scotland's Scott Brown (L) and Croatia's Niko Kranjcar in action

Niko Kranjcar has had first hand experience of fierce rivalries in his homeland Croatia

Scotland's Scott Brown (L) and Croatia's Niko Kranjcar in actionCeltic's Scott Brown (L) and Rangers' Niko Kranjcar clash on international duty

Niko Kranjcar has said he won't be intimidated by the prospect of facing Celtic in a Rangers shirt, citing his experience of intense rivalries during his time playing in Croatia, as quoted by the Glasgow Evening Times.

Kranjcar joined newly promoted Rangers yesterday, signing a two year deal after leaving American side New York Cosmos.

He joins former QPR teammates Joey Barton and Clint Hill at the Gers, who have also both signed on free transfers during the summer transfer window. 

West Ham United's Winston Reid in action against Queens Park Rangers Niko KranjcarKranjcar at QPR

Rangers will return to the Scottish Premiership for the first time in four years, signalling the long awaited return of regular Old Firm clashes with rivals Celtic.

But Kranjcar is not intimidated by playing in one of world football's most infamous fixtures, citing his eye-opening experiences playing in Croatia, where he made the highly controversial decision to move between arch rivals Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb.

QPR's Niko Kranjcar in action with Aston Villa's Brad GuzanKranjcar rejoins Clint Hill and Joey Barton at Rangers

"It [the Old Firm] will be up there with Dinamo Zagreb v Hajduk Split. That is definitely pretty full on – especially if you move from one to the other and then you go back home!

“I had a couple of flares thrown at me. I couldn’t hear my own thoughts when I had the ball.

“It was interesting. Thank God it’s over and it’s not going to happen again. It’s good now.

“I still enjoyed my time in Zagreb. It was a situation that was well documented over there at the time.

“The flares missed me by inches. I definitely won’t be intimidated by the atmosphere in the Old Firm game.

“But I am looking forward to it. It is a game that you really look forward to.

“When you have been through what I went through you can handle anything that any game throws up at you.”

Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates at the end of the matchIn the market - Warburton has been busy so far this summer

Kranjcar is the latest name to join Mark Warburton's Rangers side as the Gers seek to strengthen in order to pose a challenge to Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title.

Celtic have won the title for five consecutive years, but they are still short of Rangers' total number of title successes, which stands at an impressive 54.

The Bhoys have recently appointed former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as their new manager, as they seek to reassert their dominance of Scottish football in the context of a Rangers top flight return.

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