‘A free transfer gem’ – Super Eagles star awash in fan adoration after announcing his departure
Much of Light Blue’s fan base was stunned by the Nigerian international defender’s classy farewell message.
Super Eagles centre-back Leon Balogun received a relentless stream of messages of goodwill from many Glasgow Rangers supporters who responded to his emotional farewell message with mixed reactions.
After two successful years at the club, Rangers decided it was time for Balogun to move on, turning down the chance to activate the one-year extension clause in his latest contract.
The Nigerian defender has played a crucial role in Gers’ success lately.
Balogun played his part as Rangers went unbeaten throughout the 2020-21 season en route to winning the club’s first Premiership title in nearly a decade.
The 2021-22 campaign has been even more eventful.
Balogun scored two important goals as Rangers qualified for the Europa League final, where they eventually fell on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Light Blues also finished runners-up to Celtic in the league race, but Balogun enjoyed success when Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men lifted the Scottish Cup.
However, Rangers have decided that the 33-year-old’s adventure with the club is over.
Balogun took the news on the chin and penned a moving message adoring the “crazy and passionate” Rangers supporters.
Many fans on Twitter couldn’t hide their disgust at the club for letting the former Wigan Athletic ace leave so soon.
And many of them were generous with their kind words as they praised the veteran defender, who signed a free contract, for giving his best for their beloved club.
Former Super Eagles manager Augustine Eguavoen was among those wishing Balogun well in his future endeavours.
All the best for the future, Leon.
— Austin Eguavoen (@coacheguavoen) June 19, 2022
A free transfer jewel.
—Chris McLaughlin (@ChrisMcL16) June 18, 2022
Such a classy statement from a guy, I think, will always be universally appreciated and respected by all. @RangersFC family. All the best for the rest of your career and hope to see you again at ibrox in the future big man 💙
– Peter Adam (@petera1872) June 18, 2022
I will always be disgusted with Leon. True sir.
— Suzanne (@susan01563) June 18, 2022
hard enough as it is now im crying https://t.co/TpAJHNp8hA
– The taxi killer (@benclem8) June 19, 2022
All the best Leon, would have been happy to see you stay and I’m sad to see you go. Glad you left with silverware and good luck in your next chapter! pic.twitter.com/ZQEnzPB05e
— GVBBA1872 (@18SGBA72) June 18, 2022
Wow I’m too hungover for that 🥺 https://t.co/lGWghXrVIm
— B (@bethwilsonxxo) June 19, 2022
All the best big man, u gave everything for the rangers badge and that will never be forgotten 💙 pic.twitter.com/GwkgrAjQzf
— GazL (@gazzalittle) June 18, 2022
To take my now 3 year old son to Ibrox many years from now and take you out for the half time draw, and be able to tell him the good memories of the past 2 seasons. Ger one day always Ger 🔵⚪🔴
—Stuart McDonald (@DMcStu) June 18, 2022
Your contribution and your love to @RangersFC will never be forgotten, we will relive these moments in our minds until the end of days. Thank you for the joy you have brought us. pic.twitter.com/SXVuPr2JMH
—Alvaro Mao (@ej_hank) June 18, 2022
Thank you for everything great man, I wish you all the best in the future. A hero friend also loves you to pieces💙
—Steven Robertson (@StevenRobb99) June 19, 2022
Legend 💙 https://t.co/9lifYJ2dfJ
— Harry (@harryfenion) June 19, 2022
Good luck for the rest, I will miss you my big 💙pic.twitter.com/cvXDmisN1l
— . (@LundstramLoyall) June 18, 2022
I don’t know why the Rangers let you go big man. Good luck!! https://t.co/Z21sjnw0Pk
— Scott Kennedy (@wjscott_kennedy) June 19, 2022
All the best in your future Leon. You have also brought honor to the club yourself and you will always be welcome at ibrox as part of the ranger family. Your part of us now 💙
— Vintage Rangers Collector (@rangers_vintage) June 18, 2022
– Gio’s_orange_order🍊 (@GioOrangeOrder) June 19, 2022
anyone with a decent footballing brain would know it’s crazy that this man was told he could just walk away. Second best defender last season. He came and did a job when we needed him. Solid 95% of the time, a solid performer at the back. https://t.co/W9aBcJPC8j
—Steven (@stevenwilcox72) June 18, 2022
Balogun arrived at Rangers in July 2020 on a free transfer after taking spells at Wigan, Brighton, Mainz and Darmstadt 98, among several others.
Across all competitions, Balogun made 65 appearances for Rangers, scoring twice and assisting three more. He leaves two international teammates – midfielder Joe Aribo and youngster Calvin Bassey – at Rangers.
The veteran centre-half is now one of the best Nigerian footballers without a club at the moment.