Rangers’ Borna Barisic finally to start for Croatia v Japan at Qatar World Cup

Rangers’ Borna Barisic finally to start for Croatia v Japan at Qatar World Cup
Croatia's defenders #03 Borna Barisic (L) and #24 Josip Sutalo (2nd L) and midfielder #15 Mario Pasalic (R) take part in a training session at Al Erssal in Doha on November 26, 2022, on the eve of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Croatia and Canada. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangers will finally have a representative at this winter’s world cup after Croatia’s Borna Sosa took ill, handing the baton over to Ibrox left back Borna Barisic for his career debut in the world’s biggest football tournament.

Up till now, not a minute has been had on the turf by any representative of a blue persuasion, and indeed barely any ex-Rangers players either have been in Qatar, with just Australia’s Jason Cummings standing out with his Socceroos cameo but nothing aside that that we’ve seen.

But with Sosa’s apparent viral infection, it looks like Barisic is finally set to get his moment in the Middle Eastern sun by starting for the Croats v Japan in the World Cup last 16 in a match which Croatia do have a strong chance of progressing from.

Nothing has yet been confirmed, and reaction to this turn of events has been mixed – Sosa is, in fairness, a world class player, a top class LB who took the slot for his own, but obviously boss Zlatko Dalic needed backup and that’s exactly Barisic’s role.

Rangers have seen so little World Cup action and representation this tournament, with only Barisic being called up of our entire squad, and the bulk of the national teams of our best players not making it in the first place.

The likes of Malik Tillman, James Sands, Scott Arfield, and Antonio Colak all failed to get their call ups for USA, Canada and Croatia respectively, leaving just Barisic the only man from Govan to go to Qatar, and until today, he wasn’t going to get a single minute of action with Sosa having absolutely nailed down that slot.

But Sosa’s no longer disposed for action so it looks like Rangers will finally get a representative. Some faithless Rangers fans have already apologised to Croatia fans in advance believing Barisic isn’t up to the level needed and will do little more than pass it back to the goalie. And we do have a piece on that, Barisic, and Gio coming up later.

Nothing quite like full-hearted support though to see your Rangers men through eh?

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