It will be 20 years this May since Brian Laudrup ran Hearts ragged at Hampden to lift the only Scottish Cup winner’s medal of his stylish four year spell as a Rangers player, writes Stephen Halliday.
Like most of his former team-mates from that era in the Ibrox club’s history, he has observed their tribulations of recent years with bewilderment and horror.
Back at the national stadium last night to make the Scottish Cup fifth-round draw, Laudrup helped his former club land a home tie against Kilmarnock. The Danish icon, now a TV pundit covering the English Premier League for his homeland, is pleased to see signs of recovery at Ibrox under Mark Warburton.
Laudrup approves of the style of football the English manager has introduced and would love to see it deliver a Scottish Cup triumph this season which he claims would carry as much resonance in the current circumstances as winning nine titles in a row did for his vintage at the club.
“The players at Rangers right now will be desperate to win a major trophy again,” said Laudrup. “If it could be the Scottish Cup this year, that would be for these guys as big as nine-in-a-row was for our team. Some of these players have been playing in the third and fourth tier and are now looking to get back to the top flight. So I think it would be a huge, huge success for these guys. Some of these young players haven’t been playing for that long and will realise that it’s a huge club.
“From what I’ve read, some of them have been surprised by the hype surrounding Rangers. Even Mark Warburton has been surprised by it in a positive sense. I am just thrilled for the club and for all the people involved that the fans are coming back now. We have a good manager and a new type of football, an attractive style on the ground.”
Laudrup also revealed how close he came to joining the regime of former chief executive Charles Green at Rangers.
“I was asked by him about becoming a club ambassador,” he said. “But then he left and I never heard anything from him. I think he went to France or something like that? I was prepared at that time. Any former Rangers player would love to help out in any way. I said that if I could help, then I would be happy to. But, as I say, he disappeared.
“Would I come back now? It is hypothetical, so I wouldn’t answer that one. I haven’t spoken to the new owners and I haven’t spoken to anyone at the club for some time because a lot of things have changed. If that came across, we would have to look at it but I haven’t been asked.”