Rangers’ co-efficient rocket leaves Celtic in wake as Euro exploits make them Scotland’s best dogs


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Rangers have climbed 163 places in less than four years to overtake bitter rivals Celtic in the UEFA club coefficient table.

The Light Blues were languishing in 206th place in the summer of 2018 when Steven Gerrard swept over Ibrox.

Rangers made an unfortunate return to the European scene 12 months ago when they were humiliated by Progres Niederkorn.

Even Aberdeen looked down on them, albeit in 192nd place, but the Hoops were in 47th place after qualifying for the Champions League group stage for the second consecutive season.

But there has been a drastic change in those three and a half years with the Rangers overtaking their rivals.

Clubs receive two points for a win and one point for a draw in the group stage with four points for winning the section and two for a finalist place.

Gerrard helped restore some much needed pride in Europe for the Rangers after their time in the mainland wilderness.

After negotiating four qualifying rounds, they advanced to the Europa League group stage in their debut season as Celtic joined them in UEFA’s second tier competition after losing the Champions League facing AEK Athens.

After that first season, the Light Blues had climbed to 94th position – overtaking Aberdeen which rose to 177 – while Celtic even gained a spot.

The Hoops remained in 46th place the following season after reaching the last 32 of the Europa League where they lost to FC Copenhagen.

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But they have now fallen to 49th place as Rangers sit six places above them after a victory over Sparta Prague who reserved their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League.

Celtic suffered late grief against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, losing 3-2, and enter the Premier Conference League.

Ibrox club have to thank Gerrard for his rise after two successive knockout stage qualifiers and he put them on the verge of a third with Giovanni van Bronckhorst completing that work in his first game at the head.

And the win helped Scotland consolidate its ninth position in the country coefficient table as it remains behind Austria.

This season’s champions will almost certainly be granted an automatic berth in the Champions League group stage next season, with the Premiership ending last season in 11th place.

This means that as long as the winners of this season’s competition also qualify through their domestic league, the champions will go straight to the groups.

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