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Rangers are still the best team in Scotland and next season it will be Europe too

Fraser Wilson was taking your calls as the reaction to Saturday's Scottish Cup final resulted in the phone ringing non-stop. (Author: Gardener)

ScotlandHearts hoped they would hold the Aces but it was Jack who trumped for Rangers in the Scottish Cup final. Ryan Jack's thunderclap in extra time and Scott Wright's equally impressive clincher ensured the Scottish Cup went to Ibrox after another grueling 120 minutes for Gio van Bronckhorst's side. George Wilson, West Sussex, said: "A great end to a great season for an amazingly fit Rangers team who just don't know when to stop. We faltered in the league with a couple of draws in January and February, but at the end of the season we were the strongest side." Alan McGaw, Alloa, said: "Rangers fully deserved the trophy as we were in the Completed extra time stronger again. Considering the Europa League final was 72 hours before, did Rangers run on extra long-life Duracell batteries because this was our 65th game of the season? What a player Calvin Bassey has been over the last three months and he's earned man of the match twice in three days. And Joe Graham, Garrowhill, beamed: “The Rangers more than deserve to give Gio his first cutlery. They were by far the better team and were even the best team in Scotland that season. Rangers have played more games this season than anyone in the SPFL. Next season is looking really good now to prove they are the best in Scotland and maybe Europe too." Meanwhile, Barrimore Barlow, of Dunbartonshire, said: "A year ago Rangers fans were demanding that Nathan Patterson replace James Tavernier, because he couldn't defend himself. Check it out now, Patterson played 45 minutes for Everton and is injured, Tavernier is top scorer in the Europa League. He will soon find out that no other club in the world is like Rangers. The fans at both finals were amazing, where is he supposed to get that from? Hurting Hearts fan Ian Jardine, Brechin moaned: "Rangers should have been tired after their European exploits and Hearts will never have a better chance of beating them. However, Rangers created six big chances for Hearts one. John Souttar was the Hearts' best player and has not played for two months due to injury. Thousands of Hearts followers disappointed by an average and lackluster performance. He fired: "Congratulations to Rangers. However, it is absolutely disgraceful that Hearts went 120 minutes without a shot on goal in a cup final. There's no way Hearts can't get a better manager than Robbie Neilson. It wasn't just Neilson and Hearts who came under fire for their performance. Look away now, Willie Collum! Grant Parker wrote via email: "Once again, the game was no longer about the two sides, it was about the Willie Collum show. He said: "I sure am biased as hell but rest on me, the Hearts have done well this season. For a start that comes out of a cup final for 120 minutes without a single shot on goal. If this is the third-best team in our country, then we have big problems. This year Hibs, Aberdeen and two-time cup winners St Johnstone were really sad. Regardless of not challenging Hearts for third place, it's a shame both Hibs and Aberdeen couldn't challenge Ross County.

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6 Willie Collum calls in Scottish Cup final Rangers vs Hearts analyzed as referee comes under fire in Hampden

The piper came under fire for some of his calls as the Ibrox side got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2009. (Author: Gardener)

Willie CollumAlly McCoist said things started badly for Willie Collum and just went downhill for many others. McCoist believed the Scottish Cup final referee was wrong in not sending Peter Haring off with less than three minutes on the clock. Then Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst disputed an injury-time decision as Collum's 90 minutes were occupied by controversial calls. And in between there was plenty to talk about as the man in the middle was scrutinized for his performance in the season's showpiece. It comes just a week after Collum was criticized for his performance in the second leg of Inverness Caley's play-off win over Arbroath after sending off two Highlanders players. Here, Record Sport looks at some of Collum's key calls as Rangers got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2009. It would have been a huge blow to Hearts to lose a man so early because there were so few minutes on the clock that probably worked in his favour. But the challenge needs to be approached in isolation and it didn't look like the Austrian midfielder was very fortunate. Connor Goldson, Joe Aribo and Scott Arfield were all closest and their reactions told you it was a bad one as Haring went over the top and caught the Gers defender in the ankle. Ally McCoist and Michael Stewart, who work for Premier Sports, had opposing views. McCoist said, "With VAR next season, it's probably a red card," but Stewart said, "A yellow card is actually fair. The Rangers captain struggled early in the game and looked off the pace after his midweek Europa League struggle. And Tavernier had a couple of nagging fouls that Willie Collum let go unpunished, but he ignored the referee's warning. When he caught Alex Cochrane late it looked like he might get some warning - just for the challenge but also for the ongoing fouling - but the card stayed in his pocket. Manchester United's loanee Diallo has already been shown a yellow card following a failure against Hearts striker Liam Boyce. And just a minute later, the winger made a late move on Barrie McKay, prompting Giovanni van Bronckhorst to act and give him the hook, with substitute Scott Wright getting into the scorer's chart. But should Willie Collum have done his job for him and sent him away? Conclusion: Some referees would have shown yellow-red, but in Diallo's defense he seemed to slip and the whistler was probably right. The former Rangers midfielder came on as a substitute against his old club and clearly obliterated the full-back near the corner flag. Collum was yards away from the incident but somehow decided to keep playing and Rangers fans and dugout were justifiably furious. Craig Gordon was rightly lauded for his outstanding save to thwart Joe Aribo and force overtime. Giovanni van Bronckhorst later said: "I saw him (Atkinson) pull the jersey and that's why he (Aribo) couldn't get a clean shot on goal."

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How ex-rangers are fueling the hurricanes this postseason

After leaving New York, six current Canes players have found success with Carolina. Now they lead 2-0 back to their old home in Madison Square Garden. (Author: Gardener)

New YorkNEW YORK - Tony DeAngelo vows that playing against the New York Rangers in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will not change anything about his side. "I don't care who the opponent is," said the Carolina Hurricanes defenseman. Really good power play. DeAngelo wore a Rangers jersey for four seasons. He is one of six current Hurricanes to have recently played for the Blueshirts, including forward Jesper Fast (seven seasons), goalie Antti Raanta (two), defenseman Brady Skjei (five), defenseman Brendan Smith (five) and center Derek Stepan ( seven). . Once local heroes, they step into enemy territory for Game 3 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (3:30 PM ET, ESPN). But I think more than anything, it's just a lot of guys with playoff experience," Smith said. "I would take that more as MSG experience, but I think that definitely helps." Here's a look at the Broadway history of six current Hurricanes and how they feel about this fight among friends. DeAngelo has the most notable connection with the Rangers after making the most unceremonial exit. The Arizona Coyotes traded him to the Rangers in June 2017, along with a first-round pick. Since the NHL has more random human connections than Game of Thrones, he was actually traded for his current teammates and ex-Rangers Raanta and Stepan. DeAngelo played 167 games for the Rangers in four seasons, amassing 92 points. Most of that was logged in 2019-20 when DeAngelo had 53 points in 68 games when he finished 12th for the Norris Trophy. DeAngelo had a history of disciplinary issues before joining Rangers. He was suspended twice during his junior career in OHL, including for violating the league's policy regarding "homophobic, racist and sexist language" and abusing officers. He was also suspended for three NHL games in 2017 while with the Coyotes for physically abusing officials. I regretted it," DeAngelo said of the insult. "I'm still friends with this guy and I took the time to apologize to him. His time with Rangers effectively ended in February 2021. He was kicked off the team after six games for disruptive behavior, including a physical altercation with goaltender Alexandar Georgiev after one game. After losing offensive defenseman Dougie Hamilton at a free hand, the Hurricanes signed DeAngelo to a one-year, $1 million deal. DeAngelo finished as the fourth-best scorer this season with 51 points in 64 games. I don't care who boos me. If they want to boo me, be my guest," DeAngelo said. You're booing a guy who's running up the ice.” He said there was an intimacy between him and his former teammates on the ice. "I think there are some things, especially what the strikers are doing," he said. What do they say about DeAngelo in the Rangers dressing room? "I don't know," DeAngelo said. Fast was an underrated gem with Rangers from 2013/14 to 2019/20. He was one of their best defensive forwards, he killed penalties and he had strong base stats while he threw up offense. He was a five-time winner of the Rangers' Player's Player Award - given to the player who best exemplifies what it means to be a great team player - which tied him with franchise icon Jean Ratelle for most wins. He joined the Hurricanes on a three-year contract in 2020. That happens," Fast said. "Fast had 34 points in 82 games for the Hurricanes, both career highs. He doesn't think the trip back to Madison Square Garden for a playoff series will be uncomfortable -- for him or the other ex-Rangers. “Maybe earlier in the year when we all came in. But now that we've played them, that's behind us," he said. Skjei played five seasons with Rangers and played 307 games. He was in the second year of a six-year contract worth $31.5 million, when the Rangers traded him to the Hurricanes - both because of their salary restrictions and because Carolina was willing to put up a first-round gamble.Smith was playing with Skjei in New York.I was able to play him right away when I was traded.The Sky was the limit with him," Smith said. This year has put him in a real position to succeed. If he's not our best D-Man, he's right there." Skjei has played 141 games for the Hurricanes, including 82 games this season, and has 50 points. He is third on the team this postseason in average ice (21st-21st). :03 ) "We just have to go in and play like any other game. Play our style. We'll be fine," said Skjei. Stepan was a Rangers mainstay and fan favorite for seven years, amassing 360 points in 515 games. He had 15 points in 24 games during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014. He traded it from the Rangers with Raanta to the Coyotes for DeAngelo and a first-round pick. The Hurricanes are his third team in three years, with one stopover in Ottawa between Arizona and Carolina. He had 19 points in 58 games with the Hurricanes this season, going in and out of the lineup. Stepan appeared in Games 4, 5 and 6 against the Boston Bruins, playing under 8 minutes in two of the three. I'm no different," Stepan said at the end of the regular season. Smith played five seasons with the Rangers after being acquired by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2016-17 season. Smith was less than eight months over on a four-year deal $17.4 million when Rangers put him on waivers on Feb. 8, 2018 — his 29th birthday.He said his confidence was drained, but he was definitely staying in the NHL, which included a 2019 move from from defense to forward. Smith was signed by the Hurricanes in July 2021 and played 45 regular-season games with them. "The playoffs are a whole different ball game," he said. I can see myself playing during that time . I think you must." Smith has played in all nine playoff games for the Canes and has three points - including the game-winning shorthanded goal in Game 2 against Rangers. He said his time in New York informed his approach to playing them in the postseason. But you know their tendencies by practicing with them for 4½ years, so I know some of those guys there," Smith said. Guys like Artemi Panarin, who the Hurricanes played well defensively against in the series. He doesn't have one in Game 2 Shot registered. I think that's the big deal," Smith said. "There's a lot of times where Breadman is trying to create his space, but if you stay with him, you're trying to take that space away from him, he can do those Elite plays don't make the Coyotes, with whom he played 104 games in four seasons and excelled when he was healthy Smith was so effusive in his praise of Raanta after Game 2 against New York that he conjured up a name that is sacrosanct to the Rangers fans: The King, Henrik Lundqvist: "I just think it's remarkable what he's done, right? Come in and play the way he is... He's struggling in training. There was no way he wanted to be hit." .I think it transfers yourself,” Smith said. Maybe that rubbed off on [Raanta] when he played with him.” The Hurricanes signed Raanta as a free agent last summer, and he's had the crease for most of the postseason in place of injured starter Frederik Andersen, barring two appearances by rookie- Goalie Pyotr Kochetkov vs. Boston. Raanta has a .939 save ratio and goes 5-2 in eight games. Raanta said he has fond memories of his time in New York, including the birth of his daughter and spending two years working with Lundqvist. "When I was in New York, Hank obviously opened my eyes. It was 2015, probably his seventh or eighth year in the league. He was one of the best goalkeepers," said Raanta. "I thought, 'Obviously that's why he's the best goalkeeper.' "He was always working, always trying to get better. In New York he was one of the best in the league. As a goalkeeper and as a person, it was fun to work with him and to get to know him." of the Hurricanes in the series at Lundqvist's old turf."The atmosphere at MSG is pretty nice," said Raanta, "when you play there as a home team."

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'Brilliant Bassey lights up Rangers' cup win'

Tom English marvels at Calvin Bassey's 'fulfilled and bubbly' performance as Rangers recover from heartache in Europa League final to lift Scottish Cup (Author: Gardener)

RangersScottish Cup final: Calvin Bassey leads Rangers to triumphRangersCalvin Bassey was a constant flow of movement down the left flank for Rangers in Hampden. You can imagine the scene in the Rangers' sanctum. The stats guys hook up Calvin Bassey's GPS monitor and download his numbers from this cup, which went 2-0 on five and six to nil, a set of numbers so stratospherically high that the laptop underneath the Weight of data sizzles and explodes. The Man Mountain,” as described by former Ibrox manager Alex McLeish, walked alone as the finals' top player, so much so that they should have given him two at the medal ceremony. One hundred minutes into the Europa League final in the dead heat of Seville on Wednesday night, Bassey was the one who bounced back and put Eintracht Frankfurt's Ansgar Knauff off the ball. A hundred minutes into that final in Hampden, he flew out on his left wing to support a Rangers attack. For one hundred and fourteen minutes he was seen stretching his calf on the sidelines, an episode that made you wonder if he was actually made of flesh and bones rather than being assembled in a lab somewhere. Two minutes later, he obliterated Hearts and won a throw-in. Suddenly he gave the impression of a fresh player. He covered every blade of grass with such enthusiasm that at times one wondered how many of him were actually out there. Defend cleverly, attack dangerously, hit precise flanks that offered golden chances that were missed. It was one of the most accomplished and effervescent performances we've seen from a singles player in a Scottish Cup final in quite some time. In the end, he dropped to his knees and thanked him, then got up and rushed off to be with the Rangers supporter, his arms twirling, his face beaming. Bassey is 22, that's the phenomenal thing. He's a player with huge potential, a guy who will have his suitors in the summer if anyone in the south or beyond is paying attention. As Rangers folks will hope the well-heeled's radars have slipped. Bassey is a talent they plan to enjoy for a while. So many years and so many failed attempts to win another Scottish Cup but that odyssey ended on Saturday. It went into overtime which would have been entirely unnecessary had Rangers not been so wasteful and Craig Gordon not so Craig Gordon. Bassey put in a nice cross to Joe Aribo in the 38th minute, but Aribo headed over the goal. Bassey put in another nice cross to Amad Diallo in the 42nd minute, but Diallo put it back on. Bassey himself had a crack in the 75th minute but Gordon saved. Shortly before the end of regular time, Aribo was stripped of his jersey and should have been awarded a penalty but still got his shot away which Gordon saved, guess what, brilliantly. Then Scott Wright's header clipped the top of the bar. Hearts arrived with hope despite losing three and drawing one against Rangers this season. Ellis Simms hit the post when he should have scored after 10 minutes and from that point life was taken from them by a Rangers side who not only played their second 120 minutes in four days but only grew in strength as time went on checked. It was their 65th game of the season. They had injury worries but John Souttar and Craig Halkett both started and both played well so that's no excuse for the one-sidedness. The fact that it went into overtime was bizarre, but it did and Rangers dealt with it. Jack slammed one into the ceiling of Gordon's net - the Hearts goaltender seemed offended that someone had the nerve to hit him - and then Wright went for two . Rangers broke through Ryan Kent on the counter. They were like cavalry coming over the hilltop - there was just no stopping them. Before the end, there was this almost Hollywood-esque moment when Allan McGregor replaced Jon McLaughlin. It looked like Wednesday in Seville would be McGregor's swan song, but nobody at Ibrox had that. They felt his story called for a happy ending, and that's how it was written. McGregor showed up, played the last few minutes and was allowed to walk off into the sunset with a medal around his neck. Hi Ho, Silverware. It's easy to say that Rangers deserved to win a trophy, that their season demanded it, that it would have been cruel for them to end their campaign with no tangible result. It would not be presented to them like a pity prize on a platter. Giovanni van Bronckhorst had a tactical and psychological job to do. His medical staff had a physical job to do. Ultimately, the players had the greatest task of all. Whether they thought about it or not, the specter of a trophy-less season existed, just as real and foreboding as the relentless flak that would have hit them had they not won the trophy. It's not the trophy they wanted most this week, but Ibrox hasn't exactly been laden with baubles in recent years. You have to imagine McGregor retiring. Loan players return to their home clubs. Some outstanding names are in the last year of their contract and could be sold. There will be comings and goings ahead of Champions League qualifiers and the start of a new domestic season. That's for the coming weeks. After a marathon season, they deserve a break before getting back up and moving on. Is Gerrard Liverpool's best hope of winning the title?

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Rangers missed the chance of history and it wasn't a lottery... instead it was reckless - Hugh Keevins

The Sunday Mail columnist believes Aberdeen will remain the last Scottish team to win a European final. (Author: Gardener)

SundayRangers' Aaron Ramsey looks dejected during the UEFA Europa League final. What if Billy McNeill, John Greig and Willer Miller were to be a timeless trinity, entrenched in the history of our football as captains who conquered Europe for Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen? I've gotten to the point where I don't like the phrase "there's always a next year" anymore. At the age of 72 I am more intent on hedging my bets on this outcome and just hoping for the best. It's my mortality and I can poke fun at it if I want. But I was reminded of the saying "there's always next year" when the final whistle blew at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan late on Wednesday night. This time next year marks the 40th anniversary of Aberdeen's European Cup Winners' Cup victory over Real Madrid in Gothenburg. Rangers' failure on penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt prompted the thought that Aberdeen's success in Sweden four decades ago will indeed be the last time a Scottish club will claim that accolade. Rangers were a force of nature in this year's Europa League. They were a big part of a season full of things nobody saw coming. Like Ange Postecoglou, who turned base metal to gold at Celtic Park and reclaimed a league title at the end of his first season as manager. Like St Johnstone, who are transitioning from the most successful, trophy-laden season of their existence to one where they must compete with Inverness Caley Thistle for Premiership survival this week. Like Aberdeen and Hibs turning into a bottom six garbage heap before your incredulous eyes. Rangers in Seville had, by the sweat of their own brow, constructed a dream scenario of European glory that was so unexpected, given the grand scheme of things, that it was surreal. Connor Goldson's poor defense led to the equalizing goal that the Germans conceded in regular time. An unsatisfactory finish from Ryan Kent prevented a winner in the final seconds of extra time. And a pathetically weak penalty from Aaron Ramsey – a player said to be destined to make the difference at the highest level of the game – cost them the penalty shoot-out that decided the winner. Penalties are not a lottery. Ramsey put the ball in the middle of the goal and hoped. I suspect there will never be a better chance for a Scottish team to win a European trophy than Rangers in Andalucia. There have been 24 finalists since the start of the 2009/10 Europa League. Only eight of them are from outside the European superpowers of Spain, Germany, Italy, France and England. And only one of them, Porto, managed to win the 2011 tournament outright for Portugal. The record books could have been rewritten by Rangers in more ways than one on Wednesday night. But the circumstances under which they fell at the last hurdle look suspiciously like a missed opportunity that will never pass again. The Champions League is a dream for Celtic and Rangers from next season. That Celtic have not won a knockout draw in this competition for the last 18 years could be the clue as to what concerns them. If Rangers had won the Europa League, the saying you only get what you pay for would have become a mockery. The likes of John Lundtsram, Scott Arfield, Ryan Jack, Fashion Sakala and Steven Davis came to Ibrox on free transfers. But in the end, Ramsey proved that an excellent reputation and a trumpet fanfare to greet your arrival doesn't guarantee success. Perhaps it's a measure of how far Rangers have come in a decade that the disappointment at not having won a European final runs so deep. But you can't help feeling that Seville missed its chance to make history. But Wednesday night's chance for Rangers to register on the Richter scale? And it's gone.

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Rangers missed the chance of history and it wasn't a lottery... instead it was reckless - Hugh Keevins

The Sunday Mail columnist believes Aberdeen will remain the last Scottish team to win a European final. (Author: Gardener)

SundayRangers' Aaron Ramsey looks dejected during the UEFA Europa League final. What if Billy McNeill, John Greig and Willer Miller were to be a timeless trinity, entrenched in the history of our football as captains who conquered Europe for Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen? I've gotten to the point where I don't like the phrase "there's always a next year" anymore. At the age of 72 I am more intent on hedging my bets on this outcome and just hoping for the best. It's my mortality and I can poke fun at it if I want. But I was reminded of the saying "there's always next year" when the final whistle blew at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan late on Wednesday night. This time next year marks the 40th anniversary of Aberdeen's European Cup Winners' Cup victory over Real Madrid in Gothenburg. Rangers' failure on penalties against Eintracht Frankfurt prompted the thought that Aberdeen's success in Sweden four decades ago will indeed be the last time a Scottish club will claim that accolade. Rangers were a force of nature in this year's Europa League. They were a big part of a season full of things nobody saw coming. Like Ange Postecoglou, who turned base metal to gold at Celtic Park and reclaimed a league title at the end of his first season as manager. Like St Johnstone, who are transitioning from the most successful, trophy-laden season of their existence to one where they must compete with Inverness Caley Thistle for Premiership survival this week. Like Aberdeen and Hibs turning into a bottom six garbage heap before your incredulous eyes. Rangers in Seville had, by the sweat of their own brow, constructed a dream scenario of European glory that was so unexpected, given the grand scheme of things, that it was surreal. Connor Goldson's poor defense led to the equalizing goal that the Germans conceded in regular time. An unsatisfactory finish from Ryan Kent prevented a winner in the final seconds of extra time. And a pathetically weak penalty from Aaron Ramsey – a player said to be destined to make the difference at the highest level of the game – cost them the penalty shoot-out that decided the winner. Penalties are not a lottery. Ramsey put the ball in the middle of the goal and hoped. I suspect there will never be a better chance for a Scottish team to win a European trophy than Rangers in Andalucia. There have been 24 finalists since the start of the 2009/10 Europa League. Only eight of them are from outside the European superpowers of Spain, Germany, Italy, France and England. And only one of them, Porto, managed to win the 2011 tournament outright for Portugal. The record books could have been rewritten by Rangers in more ways than one on Wednesday night. But the circumstances under which they fell at the last hurdle look suspiciously like a missed opportunity that will never pass again. The Champions League is a dream for Celtic and Rangers from next season. That Celtic have not won a knockout draw in this competition for the last 18 years could be the clue as to what concerns them. If Rangers had won the Europa League, the saying you only get what you pay for would have become a mockery. The likes of John Lundtsram, Scott Arfield, Ryan Jack, Fashion Sakala and Steven Davis came to Ibrox on free transfers. But in the end, Ramsey proved that an excellent reputation and a trumpet fanfare to greet your arrival doesn't guarantee success. Perhaps it's a measure of how far Rangers have come in a decade that the disappointment at not having won a European final runs so deep. But you can't help feeling that Seville missed its chance to make history. But Wednesday night's chance for Rangers to register on the Richter scale? And it's gone.

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'Brilliant Bassey lights up Rangers' cup win'

Tom English marvels at Calvin Bassey's 'fulfilled and bubbly' performance as Rangers recover from heartache in Europa League final to lift Scottish Cup (Author: Gardener)

RangersScottish Cup final: Calvin Bassey leads Rangers to triumphRangersCalvin Bassey was a constant flow of movement down the left flank for Rangers in Hampden. You can imagine the scene in the Rangers' sanctum. The stats guys hook up Calvin Bassey's GPS monitor and download his numbers from this cup, which went 2-0 on five and six to nil, a set of numbers so stratospherically high that the laptop underneath the Weight of data sizzles and explodes. The Man Mountain,” as described by former Ibrox manager Alex McLeish, walked alone as the finals' top player, so much so that they should have given him two at the medal ceremony. One hundred minutes into the Europa League final in the dead heat of Seville on Wednesday night, Bassey was the one who bounced back and put Eintracht Frankfurt's Ansgar Knauff off the ball. A hundred minutes into that final in Hampden, he flew out on his left wing to support a Rangers attack. He stretched his calf on the sidelines for one hundred and fourteen minutes, an episode that made you wonder if he was actually made of flesh and bone and wasn't assembled in a lab somewhere, which was the suspicion at the time. Two minutes later, he obliterated Hearts and won a throw-in. Suddenly he gave the impression of a fresh player. He covered every blade of grass with such enthusiasm that at times one wondered how many of him were actually out there. Defend cleverly, attack dangerously, hit precise flanks that offered golden chances that were missed. It was one of the most accomplished and effervescent performances we've seen from a singles player in a Scottish Cup final in quite some time. In the end, he dropped to his knees and thanked him, then got up and rushed off to be with the Rangers supporter, his arms twirling, his face beaming. Bassey is 22, that's the phenomenal thing. He's a player with huge potential, a guy who will have his suitors in the summer if anyone in the south or beyond is paying attention. As Rangers folks will hope the well-heeled's radars have slipped. Bassey is a talent they plan to enjoy for a while. So many years and so many failed attempts to win another Scottish Cup but that odyssey ended on Saturday. It went into overtime, which would have been entirely unnecessary had Rangers not been so wasteful and Craig Gordon not so Craig Gordon. Bassey put in a nice cross to Joe Aribo in the 38th minute, but Aribo headed over the goal. Bassey put in another nice cross to Amad Diallo in the 42nd minute, but Diallo put it back on. Bassey himself had a crack in the 75th minute but Gordon saved. Shortly before the end of regular time, Aribo was stripped of his jersey and should have been awarded a penalty but still got his shot away which Gordon saved, guess what, brilliantly. Then Scott Wright's header clipped the top of the bar. Hearts arrived with hope despite losing three and drawing one against Rangers this season. Ellis Simms hit the post when he should have scored after 10 minutes and from that point life was taken from them by a Rangers side who not only played their second 120 minutes in four days but only grew in strength as time went on checked. It was their 65th game of the season. They had injury worries but John Souttar and Craig Halkett both started and both played well so that's no excuse for the one-sidedness. The fact that it went into overtime was bizarre, but it did and Rangers dealt with it. Jack slammed one into the roof of Gordon's goal - the Hearts keeper seemed offended that someone had the nerve to hit him - and then Wright made it two. Rangers broke through Ryan Kent on the counter. They were like cavalry coming over the hilltop - there was just no stopping them. Before the end, there was this almost Hollywood-esque moment when Allan McGregor replaced Jon McLaughlin. It looked like Wednesday in Seville would be McGregor's swan song, but nobody at Ibrox had that. They felt his story called for a happy ending, and that's how it was written. McGregor showed up, played the last few minutes and was allowed to walk off into the sunset with a medal around his neck. Hey, Silverware. It's easy to say that Rangers deserved to win a trophy, that their season demanded it, that it would have been cruel for them to end their campaign with nothing tangible. It would not be given to them on a plate for free, like a pity prize. Giovanni van Bronckhorst had a tactical and psychological job to do. His medical staff had a physical job to do. Ultimately, the players had the greatest task of all. Whether they thought about it or not, the specter of a trophy-less season existed, just as real and foreboding as the relentless flak that would have hit them had they not won the trophy. It's not the trophy they wanted most this week, but Ibrox hasn't exactly been laden with baubles in recent years. You have to imagine McGregor retiring. Loan players return to their home clubs. Some outstanding names are in the last year of their contract and could be sold. There will be comings and goings ahead of Champions League qualifiers and the start of a new domestic season. That's for the coming weeks. After a marathon season, they deserve a break before getting back up and moving on. Is Gerrard Liverpool's best hope of winning the title? Follow the last day and see goals from seven games

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Calvin Bassey is a £20m behemoth and Rangers will have to play hard when transfer offers come in

Bassey's development has been a shining light in the Gers season that has sparked Premier League interest. (Author: Gardener)

Calvin BasseyThe Rangers fans know it. And Gio van Bronckhorst knows it. Following his outstanding performance in beating Hearts in the Scottish Cup final, Calvin Bassey is set to receive BIG transfer offers this summer. I know that fans might not want to hear that, especially after winning a trophy. Bassey showed up at Ibrox without a first-team game at Leicester City. But we only got glimpses of it. It probably took a while for him to settle in and get along with the club. But in the last five months under van Bronckhorst? Whether at centre-back, left-back or full-back, he was simply sensational. His performances in Europe were incredible and that shows a player's level. Think back to the Borussia Dortmund game at the Ibrox. It was Bassey's cross for James Tavernier's winning goal. Check out the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic where after two 120-minute games he's the one to overlap to set up the winner. In Seville on Wednesday, in a Europa League final, he was a colossus. The only thing that was impressive about that performance came after his only mistake in the game. Bassey was back in yesterday's final. At 22, he had another monumental game for Rangers. At one point he got into the box, hacked his right foot and almost scored. What Rangers have in hand with Bassey is a real asset. There is already talk of Allan McGregor and Steven Davis getting done and it looks like Connor Goldson may be leaving. Bids could also come in for a Ryan Kent or a Joe Aribo. But one thing is certain this summer, there will be bids that Calvin Bassey will either accept or fight back. Because his accomplishments have put him in a position where clubs - and I'm talking big clubs - will stand up for that kid. I heard Giovanni talk about how much he would like to keep working and developing it. But what I took away from that is that the manager knows there will be interest. He knows what's coming. Even if Rangers manage to extend Bassey's current contract, I don't think it will deter the kind of teams that are interested. What it could do is get the club more money for him. Because to me, Bassey is a £20m player now. The clubs have to pay for him. He can play in the English Premier League, there's no doubt about that now. Nobody would disagree after seeing his recent performances. So can Rangers keep him? Whether that's £15m, £20m or £25m, they've got to stick it out - because he's worth it. His career is so buoyant at the moment that clubs will be calling. If he leaves, it will be a better deal for Steven and Ross Wilson to bring him to the club in the first place. But also for Giovanni, because he saw Bassey's quality, gave him the chance, developed him and realized that he could be used in several positions. It's going to be a really interesting summer at Ibrox in terms of replacing people who could be leaving. Two of the big ones are obviously McGregor and Davis. Yesterday in Hampden it looked like their swan song at the club. I would keep BOTH at Rangers. But I would give them another year. He has played at a high level and has been a big part of the European trip this season. But it's more about their influence on their environment. Davis was outstanding when he came on as a substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville with his composure and calm on the ball. I know from personal experience that you've long since retired from this game. If you play at the level you want to play at, for the club you want to represent, I don't think you should give that up. My fear would be that if they leave, it will hit them a few months later that they should have stayed another year. If they lose Goldson, McGregor and Davis in the same summer, they lose leaders and flag bearers. Gio deserved to be happy about the Scottish Cup win yesterday and the European run was great. And whether it's the future of Bassey, Goldson, McGregor or Davis, there's still work to be done.

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Scottish Cup Final - Live Reaction!

Will Rangers overcome disappointment at their Europa League final defeat and win the Scottish Cup? Find out with Rob Smyth (Author: Gardener)

Scottish Cup Final - Live ReactionPlease use a supported version for the best MSN experience. Will Rangers overcome disappointment at their Europa League final defeat and win the Scottish Cup? Veteran Allan McGregor gets a bit dim-eyed as he applauds Rangers fans on the lap of honor. The desperate Hearts players, led by Craig Gordon, join their formidable manager Robbie Neilson to collect their medals. There are some boos from anyone for anything before James Tavernier leads his buddies upstairs, Ally McCoist shakes hands on his way to meeting Rangers legend John Greig, hustling all his teammates and his manager onto the tight podium area and the trophy hoists! Greetings Rob. As a bit of Pyro lights up the Rangers ending like it's the modern way, and the Rangers players cavort in front of them. It's the first Scottish Cup since 2009, which is a real drought for Old Firm. The Hearts ends a bit emptier; They were on their feet at the end but they've made impressive progress this season and are well positioned to establish themselves as Scotland's third force. Rangers have won the Scottish Cup for the 34th time! It took a while, but they ended up being too good -- and too fit -- for Hearts. The game was decided early in extra time by two fine goals from substitutes Ryan Jack and Scott Wright. Hearts gave it their all and will wonder what would have happened if Ellis Simms had scored instead of hitting the post early, but in the end they were well beaten. The fact that their best players were Craig Gordon and John Souttar tells a story. I have to go to cover the Champions League final but Tom Davies will bring you the reaction from Hampden. 119 minutes: Rangers substitution Nice sentimentality from Giovanni van Bronckhorst: He brings the 40-year-old goalkeeper Allan McGregor into a Scottish Cup final for the first time. All Rangers substitutes are on their feet to applaud McGregor. 120 mins Kent and Kamara are both thwarted by Craig Gordon, the Hearts' (relatively) young keeper. 117 min Simms' volley from the edge of the penalty area deflects wide. 113 min This is a long 15 minutes of soul for the Hearts players, who have no choice but to drag their weary legs across the field, despite it being a futile exercise. 111' Wright charges into the field and then plays the ball back out to Sakala, whose low shot is cleverly saved by Gordon. Wright has been such a threat since coming on in the second half of regular time. 110 min Rangers pass the ball and enjoy that magical little window when you know something great is about to happen, but it hasn't been confirmed yet. 106 min Craig Halkett is booked for a foul on Sakala. Hearts look finished. They gave everything, were great in the first half, but at some point in the second half it became too much. 106 min The second overtime is running. Fashion Sakala has replaced Joe Aribo for Rangers and Aaron McEneff came on for Cammy Devlin in midfield for Hearts. Tavernier's corner from the left led to the edge of the D, where Jack skillfully controlled the ball and smashed an uphill drive past Gordon. I think Gordon was blind because it went right over his head. Rangers are on course to victory after two great goals from Ryan Jack and Scott Wright. I suppose with all the fatigue and injuries it's appropriate for the game to be decided by a couple of substitutes. 104 min I'll take what Calvin Bassey has. He's played four hours of football since Wednesday night and is still charging up and down the left flank like it's the first day of the season. So does Ryan Kent, who shoots into the field and shoots over the goal from 25 yards. Rangers are heading for their first Scottish Cup in 13 years! Scott Wright doubles the lead. Photo: Russell Cheyne/Reuters 103 mins "Matt Dony has nerves when he talks about penalties in the Scotland v Wales World Cup playoffs," said Simon McMahon. "The sickest handball you've ever seen played by Dave Jones at Anfield in 1977 and yet Wales fans are still screaming about it 45 years later..." 101 min Hearts know it's over, they always cling still stuck, they don't know where else they can go. Substitute Scott Wright made it 2-0 after a reckless counterattack by Rangers. He played it out to Wright, who took a touch and drove the ball unerringly into the far corner. Gordon didn't stand a chance. His first touch wasn't actually the best; but the second was spotless. Wright, who had a disappointing night in Seville, has played really well since coming on. Ryan Jack gave Rangers the lead! 95 min There's no doubt that Rangers deserve to be up front. 94 min "MORE overtime for Rangers?" sniffs John Cropp. "I can hear my dad now: 'GIE'S a BREAK Rangers!!!' On three for the Gers in the next five minutes so we can FINALLY start the celebration!" Will one do? 92 min: Rangers chance Another superb Bassey cross is headed over his head by the stretching Aribo, six yards away. It's another great chance - not quite as good as Diallo's in the first half but still very easy to convert. 92 min "Ble mae Ramsey?" says Matt Dony. “A big but small part of me is looking forward to a potential playoff game between Wales and Scotland at the World Cup, with Ramsey Panenka scoring the crucial penalty in a penalty shootout. If he doesn't come on, then come on Hearts!” 91 min Overtime is on. Rangers go into overtime for the second time in four days. 90+3 mins That was such a brilliant save from Gordon, although Rangers will rightly argue they should have been awarded a penalty. 90+3 min: Wright hits the bar! Tavernier's free-kick from the right is headed over the bar by Scott Wright! He did well to get in front of Kingsley and help him over the goal, but he couldn't get the ball to dip under the bar. 90+1 min: What a save from Gordon! Aribo received a pass in the half-corner in the box, ignored an obvious shirt pull from Atkinson - that could have been a penalty - and hit a low drive towards the far corner. Gordon, whose weight was slightly upside down, extended his left leg to deflect the ball just wide of the post. 90 min Three extra minutes. The Hearts players look absolutely shaken. 90 min Rangers break, Kent plays in the overlapping Bassey on the left side of the area. His cross is erased at the near post and I won't insult your intelligence by telling you which Hearts defender was responsible. 88 min Ginnelly gives the Hearts defense a breather by winning a corner and then leads the Hearts end before it is taken. 87 min Ryan Jack rolls past from a distance. 87 min The hearts are waiting for the extension. 85 min Wright returns the ball invitingly to Lundstram, whose crisp drive from 25 meters out is brilliantly blocked by Souttar. 84 min: Chance for Rangers! Tavernier swings the resulting corner to the near post, where Balogun gets the run to Souttar and flashes a header just over the bar. 83 mins Kent's cross is passed by the bouncing Souttar who had an extremely good game. 58 min: Nice save by Gordon! Diallo, right in his own half, angles an excellent pass over the top to find Kent in the area. His first touch is slightly heavy and that allows Gordon to choke his shot. 81 min: Double substitutions at Rangers Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack replace Steven Davis and Scott Arfield in midfield. 79 min Bassey beats Halliday with a Cruyff turn and is brought down in the eyes of everyone but Willie Collum. Bassey put on a sensational game. Gallery: Slideshow: We look back at the games and moments that shaped Celtic's 2021/22 title win (Read Sport) 77 min 'To avoid the 'heartbreak' of a penalty 'lottery' perhaps when the cup final after 120 minutes always equal The trophy should simply be 'retained', as was the case with the 1909 Scottish Cup,' says Simon McMahon. And we could replace 'neither team deserves to lose' with 'neither team deserves to win'." 76 mins: Hearts substitution Andy Halliday replaces Liam Boyce, who had a good game and is still recovering from the injury, which he contracted last weekend. 75 min: Good save from Gordon! Bassey takes matters into his own hands and almost gives the Rangers the lead. He leaps past McKay, slices into Souttar at the edge of the area and slides a right foot shot that is pushed away by Gordon and crashes deep to the left. 74 min Aribo flashes a dangerous ball over the six-yard box. A number of Hearts players have been doubtful for this game or are coming back from injury and that could be catching up to them. The Rangers were the much better team in the second half. 72 min Wright plays a good one-two with Aribo on the edge of the box, forcing Kingsley to come over and make an important interception. 71 min Boyce and Atkinson were a big threat down right in the last 5-10 minutes. Atkinson is fouled by Kent about 45 yards from goal. 67 min "What's the process for a full-time draw?" says Joe Pearson. Or is this cup different?” Yes. Yes to the second question, that is. 66 min Boyce flicks a deft back pass to Atkinson, who charges into the area from the right and runs a cross that is blocked by Davis. 65 min A rare heart attack, at least in the second half. Atkinson has room on the right and rolls in a nice cross that narrowly dodges Simms' bouncing at the near post. 63 mins: Rangers substitution Scott Wright replaces Amad Diallo, who did some good things but also missed Rangers' best chance. 63 min It's getting hot out there. Kent is unhappy after being penalized for a tackle on Boyce and the normally unremarkable van Bronckhorst is waving his hands on the touchline. 63 min "Does anyone else think these missed opportunities will now end in glorious failure for the Hearts?" says Paul Cowan. 61 min Diallo is late again, this time against McKay, and gets a final warning from Willie Collum. Either way Diallo starts: Scott Wright is getting ready. 60 min That was an excellent chance for Kent, although the ball wasn't the easiest to control on the run over the toe. 59 min Diallo is booked for a lunge at Boyce's. 56 mins We say that in about 100 per cent of club football competitions, but that first goal feels crucial today. 55 min "All these kumbayas are killing me," says Gerry Scott. 54 min Diallo's teasing cross is headed away superbly, if a bit desperately, by Souttar. It's all Rangers since halftime. 52 min Bassey smacks three players down the left, a run that includes a Zidane-style roulette before his cross is blocked. He was Rangers' best defender on Wednesday night; Today he was their best attacker. 48 min Rangers got off to a quick start to the second half, winning a couple of corners in the first three minutes. 47 min "When you said Simms hit the post," says John Lockhart, "I thought you meant with the ball, not with his own body." The ball hit the post too, didn't it? Hearts begin the second half. "So a Gers fan hopes they can make it, but it would be great for Hearts and Scottish football if the glory were spread a little." What about all this generosity of spirit today? "A big thank you to my brother-in-law Phil who traveled to Seville from London this week and will probably be back home in Glasgow for the week." While we make shoutouts big and small I can recommend a couple of books: The 50 Greatest Rangers Games by Martyn Ramsay and We Made Them Angry: Scotland at the 1982 World Cup by Tom Brogan. 44 min How good is Calvin Bassey? John Souttar thwarts an attack by Calvin Bassey. Photo: Steve Welsh/PA After a second of stoppage time, Willie Collum whistles at half-time. Both teams had excellent chances - Ellis Simms hit the post for Hearts, Amad Diallo headed over for Rangers from six yards. Ellis Simms just can't get enough of it on track and the post saves Rangers 😮 pic.twitter.com/M0XA5AtHql - Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) May 21, 2022 42 min: What a chance for Amad! Rangers should be in front. Calvin Bassey, who has another striker, circles a nice cross to the far post where Amad makes a good run into Cochrane but then heads over the goal from six yards. 40 min Tavernier, who committed a couple of fouls today, gets a final warning from Willie Collum after bringing down Cochrane. 40 min Hearts got a fright earlier when Liam Boyce started limping. 39 min "Speaking of nothing, I actually attended a derby in Edinburgh at Easter Road on my only trip to Scotland in 2012," says Joe Pearson. "Good atmosphere!" 38 min: Chance for Aribo! Kent plays an easy pass to Bassey overlapping on the left. He teases a really good cross towards Aribo, who comes ahead of Halkett but can only head over the goal on the stretch. In hindsight, it wasn't the easiest of chances. 36 min "How is Amad?" says Hans Petter Hustveit. "As a United fan I had high hopes and it was yet another disappointment after a pretty bad season. "However, I've read that Rangers fans are saying he's developed positively over the course of the season and seems to have adjusted to the level of Scotland's topflight now - and he's also very, very young. Do you see the beginnings of an end product that Erik ten Hag could develop into real quality?” There's a lot to like about him and he plays at some cheeky mischief, but if I were to bet the farm I'd say he does won't make it at United. 34 mins Davis unleashes Aribo in the left inside channel, one on one with future teammate Souttar. He pushes the ball aside and drives a shot that Souttar blocks well. 33 min It was just the first 33 minutes. Rangers had more possession, but Hearts got the closest to goal when Ellis Simms hit the post. 32 min "Good morning from the colonies Sir Rob!" chirps James Thomas. Getting a taste of Scottish football here in the States is a rare treat indeed! Carry on, sir!” 31 min A snap of Simms hitting a Rangers defender. McKay then makes a dangerous run into Rangers territory before being dispossessed by Diallo. 31 min "Hi Rob, I'm watching from Dublin on holiday from Edinburgh," says Nora Casey. "Gosh, hearts!" 30 min Souttar marches forward authoritatively and passes the ball on to Simms. 29 min "Yup, follows from Canada too," says Fred Decker. “Keep an eye on Sunderland MBM and one on Rangers, the latter in honor of longtime Canada international Scott Arfield. I know he's born and raised Scotsman, but I don't make the rules of international football (just as well, really). 27 min. Now Kent shoots a few meters wide from the edge of the penalty area. Rangers have a decent spell. 26 min The first shot on goal comes from Rangers. Diallo teases Davis in the box with a low cross; he returns it to Arfield, whose first shot is aimed squarely at Gordon. 25 min "Monitoring from Sassari, Sardinia," says Robert B. "I'm a Hibs fan but I hope Hearts wins." I'm confident that this generosity will be shared by at least 0.001 percent of your fellow Hibs supporters. 23 min At the other end, Bassey's cross is miscontrolled on Aribo's rebound. With a better first touch he would have shot on target. It wasn't the easiest ball though. 22' McKay throws a dangerous ball towards Boyce on the edge of the box. However, he doesn't quite read the rebound and Rangers are able to clear. The Hearts front three of McKay, Boyce and Simms look lively. 10 min: Simms hits the post! A great opportunity for Hearts. Atkinson played a clever through ball to Boyce, whose mistimed shot almost became a perfect cross for Simms. Desperate, he slid towards the ball, but was only able to fend it off at the outer post from a short distance. That was a really good shot for Boyce, let alone Simms. Ellis Simms misses a big chance for the Jam Tarts. Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters Photo: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters 20 min "I'll follow you Rob," says Paul Byatt. Who doesn't have that?" 19 min It was a comfortable first 20 minutes. Hearts didn't bend the knee at all, so it's quite an open game. 17 min "Lonely?" asks Bartholomew Baker. “Yes, I follow the Scottish Cup on the Guardian from the States. 15 min A long crossfield pass is controlled superbly in the air by Diallo. He comes off Cochrane and shoves a low cross that's booted away in the six-yard box. Moments later, a loose ball falls on Arfield just inside the area. 13 min We just saw a replay of this Simms chance. He went wrong footed, right footed, and that might have cost him a goal. 9 min Goldson plays an excellent long pass into Kingsley to find Tavernier on the right. He lofts a cross towards Aribo, but it's too deep. 8 min Bassey, playing at left-back today, wins the first corner of the game. Diallo's throw-in is cleared by Souttar, who joins Rangers in the summer. 6 min. That was a good start from Hearts. McKay, looking lively, can't quite control a pass at the edge of the field and that clears Balogun. 5 mins After a comfortable run from Boyce, Sims' shot is blocked by Bassey on the turn. This is the first goal attempt. 3 min An early yellow card for Peter Haring, who rolls over the ball and is then cut by Calvin Bassey. 1 min. A couple of fouls in the first 53 seconds, one on Lundstram and one from him. 1 min beep beep! 1 min beep beep! The rangers line up left to right as we watch. "I'm not surprised that GVB made several changes after Wednesday," says Simon McMahon. “Fatigue could definitely play a role, both emotionally and physically, especially as the game progresses. But at least Rangers don't have the second leg of the midweek Europa League final to play, do they? It's time for the 2022 Scottish Cup Final. 💜 @JamTarts' Barrie McKay on today's focus being simply on winning the trophy 🗣️ "You want to reach the final, but at the end of the day you want to win the final. " pic.twitter.com/9HvM8PTjD2— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) May 21, 2022 🔵 @RangersFC's Steven Davis talks about trying to put the midweek disappointment behind and get your hands on silverware today🗣️ "Before There's no hiding the disappointment of the other night, but we want to end the season on a high." pic.twitter.com/pY91qFrd7m— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) May 21, 2022 Giovanni van Bronckhorst has made five changes since the Europa League final. Jon McLaughlin, Leon Balogun, Steven Davis, Scott Arfield and Amad Diallo replace Allan McGregor, Borna Barisic, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack and Scott Wright. 🆕 Today's #RangersFC team meets Hearts in the @ScottishCup final in Hampden.— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) May 21, 2022 Hearts had doubts about some players but Robbie Neilson can pick a very strong starting XI. There are three changes from last week's league loss to Rangers. John Souttar, Nathaniel Atkinson and Craig Halkett are returning in place of Michael Smith, Gary Mackay-Steven and Toby Sibbick. Crucially, Liam Boyce and Cammy Devlin are ready to go. It's a bit of a gamble on Robbie Neilson's part, but as every manager in the world seems to have been telling us for the last two weeks, this is the time for risks. 🏆 Your Hearts side take on Rangers in today's @ScottishCup final... - Heart of Midlothian FC (@JamTarts) May 21, 2022 "Gio van Bronckhorst's favorite goal?" asks (and answers) Phil Podolsky. He was one of Barcelona's big team goals on the business end, a move that epitomizes 'probing', having also initiated it with a throw-in Xavi, Ronaldinho, Deco, Henrik Larsson, Carles Puyol, van Bronckhorst and Samuel Eto'o included. See also: 'If they win they'll be legends': Big Stakes for Hearts in Scottish Cup Final Hello and welcome to the live broadcast of the Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Hearts in Hampden. Hearts fans don't particularly fondly remember 1986, when they lost the league on the final day and showed up for the subsequent cup final physically but not mentally. While Hearts fans will never really get over this lost double, the heartbreaking circumstances today could give them extra hope. It's been around 63 hours since Rangers lost the Europa League final on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties. If Rangers are not at their helm today, Hearts, who are easily the best of the rest in Scotland this season, will walk away with glory. Hearts have won this competition more recently than Rangers. They defeated Hibs 5-1 in the 2012 final, three years after Rangers beat Falkirk 1-0. Rangers went into administration and had to start over; Hearts have been relegated twice, most recently in controversial circumstances in 2020. While Rangers raged in the Premiership last season, Hearts did likewise in the Championship, although they were also humiliated by Brora Rangers in the Scottish Cup. They finished third in this season's Premiership, 13 points ahead of Dundee United in fourth place, and now their young manager Robbie Neilson is hoping to join a small group who have won the Scottish Cup with the same club as player and manager. One thing Neilson's Hearts have yet to do is get their hands on Rangers properly. They have picked up just one point in four league games this season and were beaten 3-1 by Rangers Reserves in Tynecastle last weekend. Today would be the perfect time to hit the upside.

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Calvin Bassey is a £20m behemoth and Rangers will have to play hard when transfer offers come in

Bassey's development has been a shining light in the Gers season that has sparked Premier League interest. (Author: Gardener)

Calvin BasseyThe Rangers fans know it. And Gio van Bronckhorst knows it. Following his outstanding performance in beating Hearts in the Scottish Cup final, Calvin Bassey is set to receive BIG transfer offers this summer. I know that fans might not want to hear that, especially after winning a trophy. Bassey showed up at Ibrox without a first-team game at Leicester City. But we only got glimpses of it. It probably took a while for him to settle in and get along with the club. But in the last five months under van Bronckhorst? Whether at centre-back, left-back or full-back, he was simply sensational. His performances in Europe were incredible and that shows a player's level. Think back to the Borussia Dortmund game at the Ibrox. It was Bassey's cross for James Tavernier's winning goal. Check out the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic where after two 120-minute games he's the one to overlap to set up the winner. In Seville on Wednesday, in a Europa League final, he was a colossus. The only thing that was impressive about that performance came after his only mistake in the game. Bassey was back in yesterday's final. At 22, he had another monumental game for Rangers. At one point he got into the box, hacked his right foot and almost scored. What Rangers have in hand with Bassey is a real asset. There is already talk of Allan McGregor and Steven Davis getting done and it looks like Connor Goldson may be leaving. Bids could also come in for a Ryan Kent or a Joe Aribo. But one thing is certain this summer, there will be bids that Calvin Bassey will either accept or fight back. Because his accomplishments have put him in a position where clubs - and I'm talking big clubs - will stand up for that kid. I heard Giovanni talk about how much he would like to keep working and developing it. But what I took away from that is that the manager knows there will be interest. He knows what's coming. Even if Rangers manage to extend Bassey's current contract, I don't think it will deter the kind of teams that are interested. What it could do is get the club more money for him. Because to me, Bassey is a £20m player now. The clubs have to pay for him. He can play in the English Premier League, there's no doubt about that now. Nobody would disagree after seeing his recent performances. So can Rangers keep him? Whether that's £15m, £20m or £25m, they've got to stick it out - because he's worth it. His career is so buoyant at the moment that clubs will be calling. If he leaves, it will be a better deal for Steven and Ross Wilson to bring him to the club in the first place. But also for Giovanni, because he saw Bassey's quality, gave him the chance, developed him and realized that he could be used in several positions. It's going to be a really interesting summer at Ibrox in terms of replacing people who could be leaving. Two of the big ones are obviously McGregor and Davis. Yesterday in Hampden it looked like their swan song at the club. I would keep BOTH at Rangers. But I would give them another year. He has played at a high level and has been a big part of the European trip this season. But it's more about their influence on their environment. Davis was outstanding when he came on as a substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville with his composure and calm on the ball. I know from personal experience that you've long since retired from this game. If you play at the level you want to play at, for the club you want to represent, I don't think you should give that up. My fear would be that if they leave, it will hit them a few months later that they should have stayed another year. If they lose Goldson, McGregor and Davis in the same summer, they lose leaders and flag bearers. Gio deserved to be happy about the Scottish Cup win yesterday and the European run was great. And whether it's the future of Bassey, Goldson, McGregor or Davis, there's still work to be done.

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