Rangers may well be one of the worst teams in the UEFA Champions League this season, but the club's financial woes and injury crisis have resulted in one highlight—possibly the oddest partnership in the competition.
David Weir (39) and Danny Wilson (17) could be father and son, but in reality they are Rangers' new centre back pairing.
The golden boy
Wilson was thrust into first team affairs earlier less than a month ago in a Cup tie against Dundee, but the absence of the much lauded Madjid Bougherra and Rangers' lack of senior cover—as well as his own performances—meant the youngster was asked to step up to the CL.
And step up he did—Rangers' best outfield player in both his CL starts is already attracting interest from down south with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, and just about every other English Premier League club starting to circle due to the financial status of the Ibrox outfit.
The tall youngster had been championed by many fans at the start of the season as a potential starter, but no one would have dreamt of him stepping up and mixing it with the stars on Europe’s greatest stage. However, Wilson is a solid uncompromising centre half with confidence on the ball and the eye for a long-range pass and has not looked at all out of place amongst the very best.
The perfect partner for his could be Dad
Weir is a veteran of World Cups, European finals, and has seen it all in his 20-year career. The 65 times capped Scotland international may have expected his career would end alongside a 17-year-old, but not in the Champions League—in the Ibrox reserves.
But the former Everton star is still fitter than most and is closing in on 150 appearances for the Scottish champions despite moving north at 36, playing 60 games in his first full season aged 37.
Weir, who will be 40 before this season is out, is now club Captain following the departure of Barry Ferguson to Birmingham City and leads an undefeated Rangers in domestic competition with little difficulty despite his aging legs.
Other aging stars
Paolo Maldini played on into his 40s at AC Milan at the highest level, but did he ever play alongside a boy 22 years his junior in the biggest club competition on the planet?
Can you think of any other "father and son" type pairings in world football?
Wilson’s pace may well be aiding Weir at the back for Rangers, but my bet is it is Wilson who appreciates the partnership more and will never forget his days playing next to his senior partner, soaking up as much of those 22 years of experience as is humanly possible.
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