Rangers striker Cyriel Dessers has hailed captain James Tavernier as “a living legend” after his goal settled the Viaplay Cup final.
Tavernier scored with an acrobatic half-volley to give Rangers a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen at Hampden and win the trophy.
The goal was the full-back’s 115th for the club and meant that he got to complete the set of domestic trophies, having previously won the Scottish Cup and the Premiership in his time at Ibrox.
Dessers said the goal underlined his importance and he also highlighted his teammate’s contribution in the semi-final when he scored twice in the 3-1 win over Hearts.
“He’s a living legend at this club,” the forward said. “Today again he shows he can provide these moments. Like in the semi-final and again now in the final.
“He’s an amazing player and an amazing captain.
“I’m really happy that I get to play alongside him.”
The Hampden triumph was also a boost on a personal level for Dessers, who was signed by former Rangers manager Michael Beale in the summer. He had seen his performances heavily criticised in the games before Beale was dismissed, with many unconvinced his signing from Cremonese was good business for Rangers.
The Nigerian scored a vital goal in the midweek win over Real Betis in Spain and he now has a trophy to his name only a few months after joining. Dessers believes he’s improved under Philippe Clement and is in a better place.
“I think the turnaround came already when the new gaffer came in,” he said. “My performances since then are getting better.
“This week has been a really important week for me and I’m really happy that I’m here with a medal and a trophy.
“This just gives us more energy to keep going, keep pushing and want even more.
“We have to enjoy this. It’s been a while since Rangers won this League Cup so we have to enjoy this moment with the team, the staff and the fans.
“It has to give us a mental boost for a busy month coming up.”
Rangers will be back in action quickly, with a league match against St Johnstone. Celtic’s defeat to Hearts means the Ibrox side could move to within two points of their rivals with a win, and would still hold a game in hand.
Dessers dismissed the significance of the Celtic result and said his team would just work on their own games.
“We’ve dropped points as well before so we’re not focusing on that,” he said. “We’re really focusing on our story and the things we can control.
“We can’t control other teams in the league. We’re just focused on ourselves.
“In the last few weeks we’ve had some beautiful moments and beautiful nights, like in Seville. We just want to keep going.”
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