Barisic hopes to be born again with Rangers

Rangers new boy Borna Barisic hopes his Ibrox move can help him re-ignite his international dreams with Croatia.

The left-back has three caps and was part of Zlatko Dalic’s 32-man preliminary World Cup squad but missed the cut as Croatia marched all the way to the Russia 2018 final.

However, Barisic is now hoping his national team boss will sit up and take notice in the same way Steven Gerrard did after impressing against Gers in the Europa League.

The 25-year-old was the stand-out performer for former club Osijek in their qualifying double header with the Light Blues, with his displays convincing Gerrard to splash out £1.5million to lure him to Glasgow.

Barisic is now set to make his Rangers debut against St Mirren on Sunday and he believes it could be the first step on his road back to a Croatia jersey.

He said: “There are many differences between Rangers and Osijek, in the club and around the club. Games here are more aggressive, the football is more aggressive and I need to adapt to that part of the game.

“This is a great club and a very big club, I have some great team-mates here and there are some great staff. Everyone has been brilliant to me so far and I am very happy.

“I spoke to Nikola Katic before I signed – he said the club is top, the boss is top, the staff are top, team-mates are top, fans are top and that everything is amazing.

“I don’t like to talk about the future but my mentality is that I always want to win, I want to win everything that we can and we need to train like this, play like this and that is the most important thing.

“Of course I hope playing here will help me with my national team, if I play well then I can of course get into the Croatia squad.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard is looking forward to facing up to old Everton adversary Alan Stubbs on Sunday when he visits Ibrox with his St Mirren side.

“We live in a similar area back in Liverpool, so I know Alan quite well,” said the former Anfield skipper.

“He’s a good football man and had a fantastic career. He’s now cutting it in management and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. I know he will be desperate to get one up on me and get a good result for his team.

“I think the SPL is very exciting at the moment with a lot of challenges. Last week I was going up against Derek McInnes, someone I’ve looked up to for many years, played against him as well.

“Now we’re battling it out on the sidelines and there are a lot of challenges down the line to come – and I’m looking forward to all of them.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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