Arthur Numan believes Rangers and PSV Eindhoven have both already defied the odds to progress as far as they have in the Europa League this season. The two clubs will do battle in the last 16 of the competition – with the first leg taking place in the Netherlands tomorrow – meaning one of his former clubs will progress at least to the quarter-finals.
Rangers and PSV have more than ex-player Numan in common, as both are big clubs from small countries where finances are restricted.
As far as the one-time Rangers defender is concerned, that means it is almost impossible to compete with cash-rich nations on the continent and makes their progression so far all the more impressive. He said: "In Scotland and Holland, the clubs can never compete in terms of finance with teams in England, Spain or Italy. To survive to this stage is already a great achievement.
"I'm more than happy to see either Rangers or PSV going to the next stage. I get a lot of questions about who I want to go through but I would say either team. I'm happy if Rangers go through and I'm happy if PSV go through. I don't make a prediction, I'm always very diplomatic.
"When I heard the results and saw that PSV and Rangers were playing against each other, I thought it was great. I played for six years at PSV and I had a fantastic time there. I played five years for Rangers and it was exactly the same. It will be nice to see to see the two teams playing against each other over the two legs. I think it's great for Rangers to get to this stage in Europe, but also for PSV."
Rangers and Celtic have both reached the Uefa Cup final in recent years but Numan fears future success on the continent is becoming increasingly unlikely.
He added: "It will be difficult, more difficult for Rangers and Celtic than it was a couple of years ago because of the financial situation. And it will be even more difficult again in the next couple of years to compete with teams in England, Spain and Italy.
"Rangers and Celtic at the start of the season get £2m or £3m and in England they get £30m or £40m. How can you compete with them? It's already a challenge for teams like Rangers and PSV Eindhoven to do well in Europe.
All the attention goes to the Champions League because that is the big league," he added. "The big competition with all the top teams. But this competition can be interesting as well and we saw over the last few years that Rangers and Celtic managed to reach the final and that was a fantastic achievement."Reuse content