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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Rangers enjoy title party
Alex McLeish shows off his new silverware
Alex McLeish shows off his new silverware
Rangers manager Alex McLeish admitted he was in "heaven" as the final whistle was blown at Rugby Park to confirm Rangers as SPL champions.

McLeish has done a remarkable job in reversing Rangers' fortunes after taking over from Dick Advocaat last season.

The Rangers boss acknowledged that the title race had been an epic battle that could so easily have gone the other way.

"It's a wonderful feeling, but there is such a thin dividing line between success and failure," he told BBC Scotland.

"These players have exceeded all of my expectations."

Man-of-the-match Ronald de Boer could not look as Mikel Arteta scored the penalty that finally secured the SPL title for Rangers.

I hope I can stay here - Rangers are my life
Rangers defender Lorenzo Amoruso
And the Dutchman admitted that the tension was at times unbearable as the balance of power swung one way then the other over the course of the afternoon.

"It was unbelievable at times, what an ending," said De Boer, who has been outstanding all season.

"In the last few minutes, I felt we needed another goal. But we played well and there was a spell where we got two quick goals.

"I feel sorry for Celtic because they fought hard for it, but that's the way it goes."

Captain Barry Ferguson described the feeling of lifting the SPL trophy as the best of his life.

Barry Ferguson finally gets his hands on the SPL trophy
Barry Ferguson finally gets his hands on the SPL trophy
"I was so nervous, I couldn't sleep last night, but the guys were great and this is the best feeling I've ever had.

"I was a bit down after missing the penalties against Dundee, but this more than makes up for it.

"All credit to Celtic, they've had a great season, but we did what we had to."

Lorenzo Amoruso looks to be on his way out of Ibrox in the summer, but after helping Rangers to the title he insisted he would love to stay at Ibrox.

"We know the club has some money problems, but we are still talking," he said.

"But I hope I can stay here. Rangers are my life."

Steven Thompson came off the bench to score the crucial fifth goal for Rangers and he admitted the sensation of having won a league title only a few months after his move from Dundee United was amazing.

"I can't explain what it feels like to experience that. It wasn't my prettiest goal but I'll take that any time," he said.

"I thought we showed great character to get the goals we needed."

Rangers goalscorer Ronald de Boer
"We deserved it - but I feel sorry for Celtic"

Rangers captain Barry Ferguson
"We have a great fighting spirit"


Rangers win to clinch title
25 May 03  |  Scottish Premier

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