When it comes to Ibrox icons we can think of no one better than the notorious Nacho Novo, magisterial talent and fan favourite forward.
“As a young player I used to be crazy, and my agent, who’s like my dad, told me no, you’re not going to Valencia, you go to Scotland. (quotes sourced by Rangers News.)
I wanted to go to Valencia because for me being Spanish they’re a big club. My agent said well, Nacho, you’re not going to sign there. I know how you are, the sun, the women, you’ll never make it. I took his advice and I came over here. And look now.”
Admittedly, the Spaniard embarked on a career path perhaps unfitting of his exotic pedigree and Spanish background when he joined Raith Rovers and then Dundee FC. But all legends must start somewhere, and these were mere stopgaps on the promenade toward Rangers folklore.
A concoction of essential factors come together to make a hero, and we would argue that, looking past footballing ability and statistics, the most important thing when creating an icon is memories. Everyone will remember, for example, that truly magic moment the Spaniard netted a penalty kick in the UEFA Cup semi-final against Fiorentina. Think about the excitement of this year’s European run and times it by ten, add some more and then shake it up (and sprinkle some more excitement on top). Indeed, this was feeling around the Rangers camp when Nacho Novo, the man born in Spain and made in Glasgow, stepped up and scored the penalty to send Rangers into the final. Incomparable ecstasy was shared by the forward and the fans that day; a bond created that only parents and newly born children can relate to, of unequivocal love and passion.
On the other hand, they most likely will not recall the time he scored against Inverness on March 31, 2006. And for good reason, no one really cares about that.
What about the cheeky little lob he scored in his first ever Old Firm derby in 2005 as Rangers cruised past Celtic 2-0? There is no better way to warm yourself to a set of fans than doing that, that is for sure.
The man who lived and breathed Rangers spent six special years at the club, scoring vital goal after vital goal. He never once moaned about his position on the bench or give anything less than 100 per cent to the badge when he played.
Quite simply, he was the ultimate professional.
Rangers fans, what does Nacho Novo mean to you? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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