By Pranav Shahaney

13th Oct, 2021 | 2:10pm

Leon Balogun: Players hate losing more than fans

Rangers star Leon Balogun lashed out at a reporter for his question about Nigeria’s loss against the Central African Republic last week.

ESPN reporter Colin Udoh, in an interview with Balogun, hinted that the Rangers player and his Nigerian teammates may not feel the pain of not qualifying for the World Cup.

This visibly irritated the Gers defender, who snapped back at the interviewer, and stated that it matters more to the players than it does to the fans.

“You’ve seen me play for a few years now,” Balogun told ESPN. “And you know that when I step onto the pitch I always give 100% and I am always passionate.

“If it is important for you as a fan who is not on the pitch, but who is dreaming of seeing us play there, what do you think it means for us who are involved on the pitch?

“You are probably still going to get opportunities to go to the World Cup but we are going to be sidelined and watch it on TV, and that’s what hurts. So we understand [what it means].”

Shut him up perfectly

It’s ridiculous how easy it is for people on the outside to speak about these things and throw bizarre accusations the way of players.

Balogun is an important part of this side and like any professional footballer in the world, would like to represent his country at the World Cup.

Thus, to suggest whether or not it affects him is absolutely crazy and insensitive from the ESPN reporter.

All these questions are thrown at Balogun because he was partly responsible for the goal that led to their recent defeat.

However, even after the loss, they sit atop their group and are still tipped to qualify for the World Cup.

The African nation have qualified for every World Cup since their debut in 1994, bar 2006, so Balogun and his teammates know what’s expected of them and we back him to lead them to qualification.

In other Rangers news, ‘Joy to watch’ – BBC pundit blown away by ‘Magnificent’ Gers player at the weekend