Following the Europa League draw which places Benfica and Rangers face to face in the round-of-16, the Portuguese club are now reacting to being drawn against Philippe Clement’s side.

On BTV, the Eagles’ international relations director Simão Sabrosa had some words about facing the Scottish side in the next play-off round.

The Benfica legend, quoted by Noticias Ao Minuto, pointed out the need to beat Rangers in the first game in Portugal.

“It’s important to be at this stage. I remember the last game we played against Rangers was in 2020/21, but we have to have the utmost respect for this team. We know how our club works, we’ll have to be very strong at home to get a good result at the Luz,” said Simão Sabrosa.

The former winger also highlighted Rangers’ importance and claims the fans’ support will be crucial for Benfica to get through.

“Benfica have already been fortunate in European competition matches against teams from the UK. It’s an important match for us, the support of the fans will make the team more united and stronger. It’s after two games with Sporting and FC Porto, but I believe the team will be strong and focussed. We’ll face a team that’s top of the Scottish league, but we’ll prepare for that game against Rangers in the best possible way.”

Benfica and Rangers will be playing the round-of-16’s first clash at the Estádio da Luz on the 7th of March, and the decisive game will take place at Ibrox on the 14th.

As said by Sabrosa, the Portuguese and Scottish clubs had already faced each other in the Europa League in the 2020/21 season. They were both part of Group D at the time, and ended up having a couple of draws, with a 2-2 score in Glasgow and a thrilling 3-3 in Lisbon, with the Eagles finding a late equaliser from Darwin Nunez.