The Old Firm has returned

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On the 10th of September,for the first time in four long years the Old Firm between Celtic and Rangers was played in the Scottish Premiership with Celtic defeating Rangers in a 5-1 victory.So why this is significant?The Old Firm more than just a match or a usually derby,it is one of most explosive derbies in world football and the biggest match in Scottish football between Scotland’s most successful clubs,but also it is defined by the secterian and political nature of both clubs and the city of Glasgow which is defined by the secterian division which to this day continues to divide the city.Rangers is the protestant club and Rangers fans display their love towards the British monarchy and the Royal family,on the other side Celtic is the club of Irish catholic immigrants who came to Glasgow in the late 19th Century and they were treated by the rulling protestant majority as second-class citizens with Celtic fans displaying their support for the Irish Republic and the Irish Republican Army.Another factor which plays in the Old Firm is the conflict in Northern Ireland which fueled the hatred between the Old Firm rivals and increased the rivalry both on and off the pitch.But it was the 1980 Scottish Cup final which Celtic won by a single goal in extra-time where things between both sets of fans went to far.After the final,Hampden Park was turned into a war zone in which both sets of fans rioted and scenes looked like from the movie Apocalypse Now.And if fans didn’t caused problems,players of both clubs weren’t too happy to play one against each other.That is how the Old Firm was intense and still is to this very day,but also it brings the necessary money to the Scottish economy,it is estimated that the Old Firm brings about 120 Million Pounds to the Scottish economy.However in recent years thanks to the fact that Rangers have spent the last four years in lower divisions of Scottish football due to bankrupcy,there was a lesser flow of money while on the other side Celtic also lacked of both of revenue and real competition on the pitch which would give them good preparation for European fixtures.About 402 Old Firm derbies have been played since the start of the rivalry in 1888 which is also the year Celtic was founded as a football club.Rangers are more successful with 159 victories,while Celtic triumphed in 146 meetings with 97 draws.Celtic’s biggest victory came on the 19th of October 1957 when they defeated Rangers 7-1 know as Hampden in the Sun by Celtic fans,while Rangers biggest victory came on New Year’s Day in 1894 when they defeated Celtic 5-0,while in the modern era Celtic scored three notable big victories (6-2 on the 27th of August 2000 and two 5-1 victories which one happened almost three weeks ago and one on the 21st of November 1998).For Rangers in the modern era two biggest victories were 5-1 trouncings (one came on the 26th of November 2000 and the other on the 27th of August 1988 when Celtic was celebrating its centenary anniversary).In the terms of trophies Rangers are more successful with 54 Scottish league titles,33 Scottish Cups and 27 Scottish League Cups against Celtic’s 47 Scottish league titles,36 Scottish Cups and 15 Scottish League Cup and both clubs have won European trophies with Rangers winning the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1972 with a 3-2 victory in the final against Dynamo Moscow,while Celtic won the European Champions Cup in 1967 against Inter Milan 2-1 which on the bench had Hellenio Herrera and star players like Sandro Mazzola and Giancinto Facchetti.It became one of the biggest upsets in the European Champions Cup since Celtic fielded a team made of players who were born within a 30-mile radius of Glasgow and it proved to be the end of the La Grande Inter which dominated Italian and European football in the early-to-mid 1960s and launched legendary coach Jock Stein,a protestant into one of Celtic’s greatest.Both clubs in recent years had mixed fortunes both in domestic and European football.Celtic in the last years dominated Scottish football and last season collected its 5th title in a row and it wasn’t successful in Europe besides being a regular fixture in Europe,while due to financial problems which appeared to years of mismanagement Rangers spentfour years in the lower divisions trying to climb back to the Scottish Premiership which at the end of last season they returned and made an ambition to return the title back to Ibrox.The Old Firm and its nature got under the skin of the city of Glasgow and became a must see for every visitor and football fan to see,one of the most explosive matches on the planet and more than just an ordinary football match because it is defined by religion,politics,history,tradition and passion by both the clubs and their fans.It is Protestant vs Catholic,Right vs Left,Blue vs Green,Huns vs Fenians,British vs Irish.It is more than a match and 2016 it has become the year it has returned to the eye of the football world.

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