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Leon Balogun delighted to end on high after being left ‘numb’ by recent setbacks

Rangers v Heart of Midlothian – Scottish Cup – Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Leon Balogun revealed he felt numb from recent setbacks before picking himself up to help Rangers win the Scottish Cup final against Hearts.

The Light Blues had conceded their cinch Premiership title to Celtic before their Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville on Wednesday night, where they lost 5-4 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Rangers flew back to attend the funeral of former kitman Jimmy Bell on Friday before taking on Hearts in the final game of the season at Hampden Park on Saturday.

After a goalless 90 minutes, extra-time goals from substitutes Ryan Jack and Scott Wright gave the Govan outfit a 2-0 victory to take the trophy back to Ibrox for the first time since 2009.

Defender Balogun, 33, who signed for Rangers from Wigan in 2020, spoke about his emotions in the past few days: “I am not going to lie. Even at my age I get a little bit, not anxiety, you get a bit of tension before the games but today I felt a bit numb because there was just so much.

“We said goodbye to Jimmy yesterday as well so yeah, it was tough.

“You just try to pick yourself up and try to see some sense in it, if you like.

“It helps me to understand the club even more because the club has been through a lot.

“I don’t want to say it is typical but it kind of is what happens at Rangers a lot, you get knocked down hard and you just pick yourself up and go again.

“It is then great to end the season on high after getting two knocks, missing out on the league win and then the Europa League final.

“So it is just amazing to turn the flat feeling we had the last few days, into a high which is why I am buzzing more.”

Balogun’s contract is up this summer but the Nigeria international was clear about his ambitions.

He said: “Anyone who knows how I move around the club and within the club, know I have absolutely fallen in love with this club.

“As I described, getting knocked down and getting back up, is like my career. That is why me and Rangers are quite a good fit.

“I would love to stay. I think they know that and I hope I can announce something about my future with Rangers soon.”

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