Red Star Belgrade pull no Rangers punches as Ohi Omoijuanfo aims to beat Robert Lewandowski to golden shoe

Firing Red Star Belgrade striker Ohi Omoijuanfo has told Rangers his team won’t be playing for a draw at Ibrox.

And the Norwegian has promised he’ll be doing everything he can to find the back of the next and nudge him closer to Robert Lewandowski in the European Golden Shoe race.

The Serbian side will face Rangers in the Europa League last 16 after storming through their group phase and earning a bye to this round.

Gio van Bronckhorst and his team had to beat Dortmund to get this far and there’s another tough opponent waiting in Red Star.

Leading their charge will be Omoijuanfo, who joined the club at the start of the year from Molde in his homeland.

He’s currently second in the European Golden Shoe race – behind only legendary Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski – after netting an impressive 31 goals in 36 games this season, including three in four games for Red Star, one of which was a derby goal against Partizan last week .

Omoijuanfo said: “We have a really good team here and we believe in ourselves.

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“While I can’t guarantee a goal at Ibrox against Rangers, I can promise I will be doing absolutely everything to try and get us to the quarter-finals.

“We aren’t going to go to Glasgow and play for the draw. We will approach the game as we do every match…we are going for the win.

“It will be a difficult match. Of course, we are expecting that. But if we play as well as we can then we can definitely win the game.

“I admit I’ve had a good start to my career at Red Star. I give my all in every match and sometimes that leads to a goal for me. But I just want to contribute to the victory of my team.

“I know I am behind only Robert Lewandowski in the Golden Shoe, but let’s be realistic here, Lewandowski is from another dimension of football. He has been at the top for years. It’s silly to compare us.

“But who knows, if I keep scoring goals, maybe this could be my year.

“My aim is to help Red Star win the league firstly and also go as far as we can in Europe. You have to remember, we have a major advantage because we have such terrific fans at this club.

“Before I joined the club, I looked up videos of the fans and I knew they were impressive. Then I came to the Marakana, felt their energy and thought ‘wow’!

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“There are derbies in Norway too obviously, but they are just football matches. Here, there is so much more to it. In the Eternal Derby last weekend against Partizan, you could sense that it was more than just a match. There is so a lot of history involved. And that’s what made it so special to score and win the game.

“They told me if I scored in the derby, I would forever win a place in the hearts of these fans and I hope if I score against Rangers too, they will take me to their hearts even more.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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