“The best by far”: Rangers' Borna Barisic makes bold claim as he compares Anfield with Ibrox
The Croatian says that Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men can build on their showing away to Liverpool when the teams’ meet again in Glasgow this week – even if the general consensus was that one of the continent’s big hitters hardly required to break sweat for their 2-0 victory on Tuesday. It was an outcome that left Rangers both pointless and goalless at the halfway stage of Group A following heavy reverses to Napoli and Ajax previously. But Barisic is convinced Rangers will have more bite against Jurgen Klopp’s men next Wednesday because he is in no doubt that they possess a weapon that even Liverpool cannot match. Anfield is regularly lauded as generating the most intense ambience in European football. But having now experienced the ground under the lights, the 29-year-old rejects that assertion.
“The Ibrox atmosphere is still the best by far for me,” said the left-back. “With all due respect to everyone, I thought Anfield had a good atmosphere. But for me personally, not just because I am playing at Rangers, it wasn’t better than Ibrox. Maybe it’s because I have played in so many big games, played on so many big nights, but for me Ibrox is the best still.
“I think that Tuesday was the best game of the three we have played [in Group A]. We are just growing. It is Champions League level, our group is very tough, all the top teams are in it. We need to grow, we need to learn. I think we are doing that. In the Champions League you don’t have time and small details always decide a game. I think we are growing, which is the most important thing. We can take many positive things from the game, but we also still have to learn a lot. In the second-half we played much better. Maybe they didn’t press too much. But if we keep the ball for a little bit longer it is easier for us to play. I also think that we can press them better. They are a top team. But we are growing, we are learning and I think we will be much better at Ibrox. It is our home, our crowd. They are a 12th player for us.”
Meanwhile, Barisic is proving a more durable Rangers player than was expected when the club paid £5million for Turkish right-back Ridvan Yilmaz in the summer. It was thought the 21-year-old would quickly dislodge the sometimes erratic Croatian. Instead, he has been forced to play second fiddle to him. Barisic was asked whether the presence of Yilmaz had “lit a fire” that focused him to produce his best. “Listen, I am in the place where I wanted to be. From the start of pre-season, I said to myself there were some things that I wanted to do. I was very motivated. Even before pre-season. I worked very hard to be prepared, to not get injured, to play all the time because I know the season will be tough and there is a World Cup coming. I am happy that I am in a very good place and can help the team.”
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