Throughout the 1990s Rangers were the dominant force in Scottish football. Nine successive league titles was the prize for their efforts as a number of stars played their trade at Ibrox.
However, none were too bigger than Brian Laudrup, a Danish footballer who was unfortunately often overshadowed by his brother, Michael.
The latter played for Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid no less, earning 104 caps for his country. His sibling, on the other hand, played just over 80 times for Denmark – appearing for Bayern, Milan, Chelsea and Ajax in the process.
The two brothers were mesmeric on the field of play, terrifying opposition on a regular basis. It’s remarkable to think that Brian cost Rangers just £2.3m when he arrived in Glasgow.
Revealing later that he turned down a switch to Barcelona, it only added to the level of affinity he grew at Ibrox. As far as Rangers’ quest for nine in a row, something their rivals are now close to emulating, Laudrup was one of the pillars of the late stages.
The former Denmark international arrived in July 1994 as the 25-year-old joined a side who had already achieved six consecutive league crowns. Could the Gers go to the next level with him on their side? Of course they could.
Rangers’ website describes him as a technical wizard, one who was a sensational capture and “could elevate Rangers’ play to a higher level than previously seen.”
And indeed that was case.
In his time with the Light Blues, he made 151 appearances and scored 45 goals. Dividing that by the fee they paid, he cost a measly £51.1k per strike.
The number 11 was given a free role in Walter Smith’s XI and he made use of it, becoming an individual force just as great as his team.
After just one season Laudrup was named the Player of the Year by the Scottish FA and the Football Writers Association. Already that £2.3m price tag had basically paid itself – he scored ten times in 33 outings.
The midfielder was joined by Paul Gascoigne in the side next season but he saved his best for 1995/96, hitting the back of the net on 16 occasions. After that campaign, he was named the football writers’ Player of the Year for a second time.
A move to Chelsea eventually followed in the summer of 1998 but his work had been done. Three titles in the bag and some domestic cups to boot, he typified what Smith’s side became – a destructive force.
In other news, Rangers may already have their Billy Gilmour replacement…