Former Glasgow Rangers defender Craig Moore urged Dick Advocaat to sign Mark Viduka when the 6 foot 2 striker was still at Dinamo Zagreb.
Moore wanted Viduka at Ibrox
Moore was an international teammate of Viduka, both playing for Australia, so he was aware of the striker whilst he was still in Croatia. The now 45-year-old scored 40 times in 76 matches for Zagreb, and was on the way up.
In the end, he joined the Gers’ fierce city rivals Celtic for £3.5m. Now, Moore has revealed to The Daily Record that he urged the 54-time Scottish champions to sign the former Leeds forward. He said:
“I actually recommended Viduka to Rangers when he was at Dinamo Zagreb.
“I was obviously at Rangers and before he went to Celtic I was like, ‘Try to get him here’. It was mentioned to Dick Advocaat at the time.
“Once you have that relationship with a manager, it’s not uncommon to recommend players you know from your international team.
“And a manager might also come to you if they’re looking at a player and ask about their character. But for whatever reason nothing came of that tip-off.”
Missed opportunity for Rangers
It would be fair to say that the 43-time international went on to have a pretty impressive career. Whilst he would only win the Scottish League Cup during his time in Scotland – he also caused controversy when he disappeared just days after sealing his Celtic switch – he still scored at a rate of more than one every two games at Parkhead. His performances there earned him a switch to Leeds, where he continued to impress. In 160 matches, he bagged 68 strikes, helping the Whites to a Champions League semi-final along the way.
Would you liked to have signed Viduka?
Further stops at Middlesbrough and Newcastle United cemented his status as one of Australia’s greatest footballing exports. Had he signed for the Gers, there is little doubt he would have made a good impression. However, the likes of Rod Wallace and Billy Dodds struck the goals for the Ibrox side, helping them to two Premiership titles during Viduka’s time at Celtic, so perhaps knew exactly what he was doing.
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