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Midfielder breaks record: How Rangers stars fared during the international break

It’s been 12 days since Rangers last kicked a ball, but a number of Steven Gerrard’s men have been involved with their international sides since the 1-1 draw with Celtic.

In total, seven players were involved and some will return to Ibrox with plenty to talk about.

One player scored a late winner, one did the rounds on social media after embarrassing a Premier League star and another broke an international record.

Here’s a round-up of how those Rangers stars got on during the break.

IANIS HAGI – ROMANIA

North Macedonia may have pulled off a sensational 2-1 victory over Germany on Wednesday, but they had no such luck against Romania earlier in the international break thanks to Rangers star Hagi.

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It was his drilled shot five minutes from time that made the difference in a 3-2 win for Mirel Rădoi’s side.

The 22-year-old started in the subsequent 1-0 defeat against Germany, and was an unused substitute as the Romanians fell 3-2 to Armenia.

Romania are fourth in Group J, three points behind North Macedonia and Germany, and six away from leaders Armenia.

GLEN KAMARA – FINLAND

Kamara played from the start as Finland drew 2-2 with Bosnia and Herzegovina and 1-1 with Ukraine, before coming on as a substitute in the 3-2 defeat to Switzerland.

The 25-year-old’s high point came against Ukraine, with a sublime nutmeg on Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko drawing acclaim on social media.

Finland occupy third-place in Group D with two points, one behind Ukraine and five off table-topping France.

STEVEN DAVIS – NORTHERN IRELAND

Davis played from the start in Northern Ireland’s 2-0 defeat against Italy, before being rested for the 2-1 friendly loss against the USA.

The 36-year-old was restored to Ian Baraclough’s starting lineup for the goalless draw with Bulgaria.

It was one of the most significant moments of the midfielder’s career, with his 126th appearance for the national team surpassing former England keeper Peter Shilton’s haul and making him the UK’s most capped international men’s player.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Davis said:”The caps record means a lot, of course it does. To be honest, I don’t think it will probably sink in or I’ll probably not appreciate it as much as I should until I sit back when I finish my career and look back on what I have achieved.

“I’m very proud to be in amongst those names, Bobby Charlton, Peter Shilton, Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Bobby Moore and others who are legends of the game.”

Northern Ireland sit third in Group C with a solitary point, five points behind second-placed Switzerland and eight behind leaders Italy.

JOE ARIBO & LEON BALOGUN – NIGERIA

Two Rangers stars were in action for the Super Eagles during the break, with both Aribo and Balogun starting against Benin.

They helped their side to a late 1-0 victory, and Balogun maintained his place for the 3-0 victory over Lesotho.

Nigeria have qualified for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, currently sitting top of qualifying Group L by seven points.

FILIP HELANDER – SWEDEN

The centre-back started his country’s matches against Georgia and Kosovo, which ended in 1-0 and 3-0 victories respectively.

He watched Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly win over Estonia from the bench, alongside the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and former Celtic man Mikael Lustig.

Sweden are second in Group B, a point behind leaders Spain with a game in hand.

BORNA BARISIC – CROATIA

The left-back was in from the start for his country’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Slovenia, and maintained his place when Croatia won by the same scoreline against Cyprus.

He came off the bench for the 3-0 win against Malta, which leaves Zlatko Dalić’s team top of Group H.

 

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