By George Overhill

18th Apr, 2022 | 5:40pm

Neil McCann rages at 'massively disrespectful' Lothar Matthaus amid Rangers success this week

Neil McCann tipped Rangers to win the Europa League as he stood up for Scottish football and blasted German legend Lothar Matthaus.

Gers overcame Braga 3-1 at Ibrox on Thursday (14 April) to book their place in the semi-finals of the competition, before overcoming Celtic 2-1 at Hampden Park yesterday (17 April) to reach the Scottish Cup final.

And the former Light Blues attacker feels that the results prove both the strength of the game in Scotland, and the club’s chances of glory.

McCann told BBC Sportsound, via Football Scotland: “I heard Lothar Matthaus being disrespectful to Scottish football when he slagged Borussia Dortmund for being beaten by a third-rate team [in the knockout round playoffs].

“But Rangers aren’t a third-rate team and neither is Scottish football third-rate.

“It was massively disrespectful to us as a nation. Looking at the way Rangers are performing there’s no reason why they can’t win that trophy now.”

Referencing the 11-year domestic cup drought the for the Bears he added: “I also played out on the Hampden pitch for Falkirk when they last won the Scottish Cup and it’s an incredible amount of time since then. Reaching the final will mean a hell of a lot to this club.”

Proving themselves

Former Ballor d’Or winner Matthaus likely will be considering his words a bit more carefully as Gers face German opposition agin in the semi-finals.

RB Leipzig are arguably the favourites now that Barcelona have been knocked out, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side should have every chance of progressing.

They have proven over the previous three rounds that they are a side that nobody will want to face in Europe this season, especially in front of the Ibrox crowd.

Their league title defence has faltered, which is clearly a major disappointment, but they have arguably announced the Scottish Premiership back on the European stage to an extent not seen in years.

The much-needed Old Firm win yesterday has stopped the Hoops running away with the domestic crowns, and provided a fantastic opportunity to salvage this season.

Four games could result in two trophies, and nobody would confidently bet against then in any.

Dortmund may have been favourites back in February, but that tie and plenty since should have taught Matthaus and others not to dismiss the Light Blues so readily.

In other Rangers news, Derek McInnes was filled with praise for the European achievements.