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Paul Gascoigne in savage Rangers verdict as superstar played Scottish football 'blindfolded'

Rangers legend Paul Gascoigne has been speaking about his time in Scottish football
-Credit: (Image: YouTube/@therestisfootball)


Rangers legend Paul Gascoigne has boldly claimed that he could have played blindfolded during his spell at Ibrox.

Gazza, who joined Rangers in the summer of 1995 for a then club-record fee, was on a mission to rejuvenate his career after a challenging period at Lazio. Joining Walter Smith's squad, he sought a new beginning and certainly made an impact, netting 19 goals in his debut season.

This tally included a crucial hat-trick against Aberdeen which secured the league title for Rangers just before the season concluded. Despite doubts from critics due to his stint in Italy, Gascoigne thrived in Scotland, attributing part of his success to the level of opposition.

On the Rest is Football podcast, Gascoigne reminisced about his most cherished career memories, saying: "The highlight of my career was when I went to Scotland. The press said I wouldn't do well up there. I played blindfolded up there, Jesus Christ!”

“I remember playing once, a kid was going to get the better of us. I scored two against him, won 2-1. I remember after the game, I went into the dressing room, took my boots off, give him them and said, ‘One day you’ll f****** play like that’ and walked out. So I ruined him.”

He also reflected on the significance of his hat-trick for Rangers, adding: "To score the hat-trick, because I'd never really won a championship medal. The FA Cup final [with Tottenham Hotspur], I only played about 12 minutes [due to injury]. So to score a hat-trick to win the league for Rangers was an unbelievable feeling.

"That was some highlight. I just remember going to collect all of the awards: I won players' player, I won sports writers' player of the year. I cleaned up the first year."

A hat-trick from Paul Gascoigne against Aberdeen helped Rangers win the league in April 1996
A hat-trick from Paul Gascoigne against Aberdeen helped Rangers win the league in April 1996 -Credit:Ben Radford/Getty Images

Gazza, who has faced a public struggle with alcoholism, shared a wild anecdote from the 1996 League Cup final victory against Hearts. The midfielder scored a second half brace in the 4-3 win and there was an astonishing reason behind his transformation after the interval.

"I remember, we were playing the Scottish [League] Cup final. I didn't have the best of first halves and Archie Knox went, 'Have you had a drink? ' I said, 'No'. He went, 'Go and get one'. So I remember going in the directors' box, 'Give us a tripe brandy, that's nice, give us another couple, I had nine brandies," he recalled.

Returning to the dressing room slightly more spirited, Gazza said "I went back to the dressing and they asked me, 'Have you had a drink? ' I said. 'Yeah, gaffer', and they said, 'Get out there and do the business'. I scored two in 10 minutes, I was f****** brilliant! ".

During his three seasons with Rangers, Gascoigne became a club legend, securing his place in their hall of fame in 2006. His time at the club saw him win two league titles, the Scottish Cup, and the League Cup, yet he still harbours a single regret from those days in Glasgow.

"We played with 18 internationals. I think that's the reason why we didn't really do well for Rangers in the Champions League, Gascoigne explained. " Gascoigne explained. "It is because, imagine, one minute you're playing against Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle, and then in the next game in the Champions League, you're playing against Ajax. I think that's why we struggled [to adjust] as much in the Champions League."

Despite failing to progress past the Champions League group stage during his three-year stint at the club, Gascoigne left a lasting legacy at Rangers. He moved on to Middlesbrough in March 1998, narrowly missing out on a spot in the England squad for the upcoming World Cup. Meanwhile, Rangers lost the title to Celtic that season.