There are so many firsts happening tonight, one of which we’ve already talked about today, but another is possibly the most significant of the lot, and isn’t a first at all, it’s a penultimate end.
It’s officially the cusp of the end of the Journey tonight, as Rangers grace the Champions League, hearing ‘that’ music properly in the group phase for the first time in 12 years.
The Journey, a 10-year… is ‘slog’ the right word, was partially over when we went for and got, 55, but the true completion was the restoration of our rightful place among Europe’s elite by competing once more in the tournament we’re a founding member of.
For those who forgot or who don’t realise, Rangers are one of 8 clubs to have been symbolically in the UCL every single year since it started – details here.
But the real prize was getting back to the group stage.
And… quintessentially? Hearing that iconic anthem properly, not in a qualifier (we don’t believe the music should be there in truth, even in the playoffs – you’ve not earned it) but in a fully-fleshed group match.
Of course, it’s in Holland, so it’s their stadium the music will bellow out for, but every team in the UCL has earned the right to be greeted by that music and Rangers will finally at long last hear it in a proper group match.
Next week will naturally see Napoli at Ibrox, which will be the absolute, proper, FINAL end of the Journey, when we hear that music definitively at our own home for the first time at this stage of the UCL for 12 years.
But just hearing it again tonight will mean so much to us all – so very very close to the end of the Journey.
We can’t wait.