Football

Rangers’ McAllister showers praise on Balogun for great performance in Old Firm Derby win

Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister heaped praise on Nigerian defender Leon Balogun for his outstanding performance in their 1-0 win against rivals Celtic in the Old Firm Derby at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday.

With Rangers missing a number of players due to Covid-19 protocols, the 33-year-old Balogun was moved from his regular centre-back position to right-back as back-up for Nathan Patterson, who was isolating, and the player stepped up sensationally.

“You would have to say Leon was obviously signed here as a centre-back but he’s very much in our thoughts as a third-choice right-back,” McAllister told the club’s official website after the game.

“I thought he handled it and he showed defensively that he is very capable of playing there against a difficult opponent – it was a proper man’s performance.”

During the game, Balogun was given a nickname by Rangers supporters, who labeled him ‘Leon Ballon d’Or’.

Balogun, speaking after the match, laughed off the nickname suggestion and said it is something he has never heard before.

“That’s a new one,” Balogun told the media as quoted by Scottish Sun. “I think after we scored and I realised the noise just wouldn’t stop, I got goosebumps running into my half.”

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