Rangers’ Europa League final defeat on penalties “hurts a lot” says Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but the Ibrox manager says he could not have asked for more from his side.
Eintracht Frankfurt triumphed 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes in Sevilla, with Aaron Ramsey the only player to miss in the shootout after coming off the bench in extra time.
“With penalties it’s a lottery – tonight we weren’t on the good side,” Van Bronckhorst said.
“I can’t complain with everything my players gave today. If you play a lot of big finals you will have memories that last for ever when you win them, but when you lose it will hurt a lot. I lost a World Cup final .
“We have to move on. We have a big game on Saturday and next season we have to start all over again.”
Rangers have the chance to end the season with some silverware as consolation, when they face Hearts at Hampden in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday.
It is a quick turnaround for the Ibrox side after the sapping heat of Seville, having played 65 games this season already.
“It’s not going to be easy to get them ready because we are hurt and disappointed,” the Rangers boss added.
“We did it a couple of times, to play with a short recovery – two days. We fly home tomorrow and we have only one day to prepare. It won’t be easy but we will be ready for Saturday and [try to] end the season with a trophy.”
‘I’m so heartbroken’
Rangers had taken the lead in the final through Joe Aribo, but were pegged back by Rafael Borre’s equalizer 12 minutes later.
The Scottish side had the best chance to win the game in extra time but Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp produced a fantastic save with his leg to deny Ryan Kent from close range.
“It’s a hard one to take,” midfielder John Lundstram told BT Sport. “In the 120 minutes both teams didn’t perform great.
“I thought we could’ve performed better. It’s heartbreaking. We could’ve won it, but what a save [from Ryan Kent] – what can you do? I’m absolutely devastated. I’m so, so, so heartbroken.”