Meet the Rangers fan who ended up on a road trip with a stranger for Europa League final

·4-min read
Ravi Sood and two friends undertook a massive drive across Spain after missing a connection to Seville
Ravi Sood and two friends undertook a massive drive across Spain after missing a connection to Seville

The rise of Rangers from the fourth division of Scottish football can hardly be understated, and one of the mantras of that slog back up through the leagues was the idea of 'making friends on the journey'.

That journey has taken the club from Stirling Albion to Seville, and one dedicated supporter put the making friends motto firmly into action as he trekked across Europe for the clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ravi Sood, from Jordanhill in Glasgow's West End, started out with a simple plan he'd hatched with pal Pushkal Gandhi. Things didn't quite go the way they had intended.

Finally standing in Seville's Alameda de Hercules he tells the Glasgow Times: "We’d planned it out a few weeks ago, we took a risk and thought, ‘if we don’t make it let’s go for a holiday’.

“So what we did was driving from Glasgow to Birmingham early hours on the Tuesday – 1am – get there for a 9.35 flight on to Majorca then a quick turnaround on to Seville. No problem.

“The drive’s fine, first flight is not a problem: we get to Majorca and our flight is delayed. So we miss the flight to Seville. Ryanair do nothing about it because they don’t class it as a connection."

It was then that they struck up an unlikely friendship that would take three travellers on a road trip worthy of a Hollywood movie.

Ravi explains: "We ended up with someone who was in the same predicament, she had no idea that football was even happening and was going for another reason.

Glasgow Times: Ravi and Pushkal picked up a friend on the way
Glasgow Times: Ravi and Pushkal picked up a friend on the way

Ravi and Pushkal picked up a friend on the way

“So we picked her up and just basically decided together, ‘what we need to do is get to mainland Spain somehow’. What we did, with some quick thinking, was book a flight from Majorca to Valencia.

“We booked that then decided to hire a car, and we drove about seven or eight hours last night across Spain, east to west, from Valencia to Seville.

“We did that, dropped her off, dropped the car off, got a taxi back to our own hotel, checked in about 4am and now here we are!”

Asked about that overnight trek, Ravi sheepishly admits it wasn't he who bore the strain.

He notes: "I don’t drive, so my pal did the driving from Glasgow to Birmingham and then did the drive from Valencia to Seville. He seems alright after it…"

Said friend, Pushkal, notes he's the real hero of this story - not least as he paid £1,500 for his ticket as well as doing all of the driving.

READ MORE: Rangers fan becomes Seville celebrity for Europa League final

Ravi takes up the story of the unlikely trio: "

It was tiring but we just kept ourselves going, Rangers song the whole way.

“The lassie knows every Rangers song now!

“I’ve never met someone who knows less about football in my life. She stays in Birmingham and was flying for these exact three days, Tuesday to Thursday but had no idea there was football happening.

“She’s heard of Rangers, but she doesn’t understand Rangers: how many people are cutting about here.

“I think she might be a fan now if we haven’t put her off, she said she’d try and watch it tonight."

Glasgow Times: The trio crossed the whole of Spain in a rental car to make it to Seville
Glasgow Times: The trio crossed the whole of Spain in a rental car to make it to Seville

The trio crossed the whole of Spain in a rental car to make it to Seville

And the friendship has not ended there, with Ravi and Pushkal having already made contingency plans if their flight homes faces similar delays.

With airports likely to be full to capacity as over 100,00 head back to Scotland, they'll be linking up with their newest pal.

Ravi says: "We’ve got out flights booked for the same return journey we were meant to come, but it’s only a 45 minute turnaround and we’re already prepared for the fact we’re going to miss that from Majorca to Birmingham.

“So what we’ve done is booked a flight from Majorca to Birmingham on Friday morning, and we’re just going to out in Majorca tomorrow night: me, Pushkal and the girl - who is coming back on the same flight! She’s coming with us too!

“The three of us are going out in Majorca and we’re just going to stay out and go straight to the airport because the flight is at six in the morning.

“Then Pushkal and I are going to drive back to Glasgow.

“I’ve not got Friday off work, I’ll figure that one out on Thursday…

“After that a wee sleep on Friday night and the Scottish Cup final at Hampden on Saturday!”

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