A 1-1 draw with Young Boys at Ibrox, with Alfredo Morelos’ opener cancelled out by a late Borna Barisic own goal, was enough to take Rangers through in second place in a group where they were bottom seeds.
It’s the first time the Ibrox club have qualified for the post-Christmas knockout stages of European football since 2010-11.
They will be unseeded in next Monday’s round of 32 draw and could face teams such as Sevilla, Arsenal, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Benfica.
“We’ll be the team other teams might fancy playing against,” said Gerrard. “But I’m sure Porto, Feyenoord and Young Boys felt like that when the draw was made for this group.
“No-one gave us a chance when the draw was made. For the players to get out of the group in any shape or form is a magnificent achievement. We are ready for whoever we play against in the next round.
“It will be nice to see Rangers name among some elite teams in the draw. I know the fans thrive on these night and experiences. Getting through gives the club some kudos and something exciting to look forward to.”
Even own goal can't dim Gerrard's satisfaction
Barisic’s late own goal didn’t just see Rangers miss out on top spot, which would have seen them seeded in the draw, it also cost them around £750,000 in Uefa prize money which would have come their way for winning the match and topping the group.
But nothing could dim Gerrard’s satisfaction with his players as they bounced back from the disappointment of losing the League Cup Final to Celtic at Hampden on Sunday.
“It’s a fantastic feeling, especially after the last few days,” he added. “It’s been tough for the staff and players to pick ourselves up for this game.
“The performance was very good in the first half, we looked dangerous and created the best chances. We could have scored maybe or two more goals.
“Young Boys turned the heat up on us in the second half and it was tough to get out, we couldn’t get any pressure on the ball. Over the course of the game, we created the best chances.
“I can’t criticise the players if nerves got to them as the game went on. We don’t have a great deal of European experience in the team.
“We went in on the back of losing a cup final and against a team with big European and Champions League experience.”