European Cup Winners' Cup FC Dynamo Moscow

Rangers vs Dynamo Moscow: 10 Things You Didn't Know

4:37 PMGoalChatter

by Aleks V |

On this day in 1972, Rangers FC won their sole European trophy, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, in a dramatic 3-2 battle against Dynamo Moscow at Camp Nou in Barcelona. In honor of the 45th anniversary of the historic final, here are some lesser-known facts about the game:

1. The first Soviet team in a European final

Dynamo Moscow in the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup Final. Photo:
Dynamo Moscow became the first team from the Soviet Union to compete in the final of a European competition.

2. The managers met again

Rangers FC manager, Willie Waddell, played against Dynamo Moscow manager, Konstantin Beskov, in Dynamo's 1945 tour of Britain. In the post-war friendly vs Dynamo, Waddell's penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper, Alexei "Tiger" Khomich. Dynamo Captain, Beskov, contributed to both of his team's goals against Rangers, earning the free kick for Kartsev's 3rd minute opener and assisting his second goal. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.

3. The managers' records still stand

As manager of Kilmarnock in 1964-65, Willie Waddell led the club to its only championship in Scotland's top tier to date. Konstantin Beskov led Dynamo Moscow to victory in the 1994-95 Russian Cup, the club's last trophy while playing in the Premier League.

4. The lone foreigner

Rangers only had one foreign player on their roster in the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup Final - goalkeeper, Gerry Neef, who was on the bench for the duration of the game.

5. 45 years later, the Captains still support their clubs 

Both Captains remain active for their clubs. Rangers defender, John Greig, is the club's honorary life president. He's also on the board of the club's Youth Development Program. Dynamo Moscow defender, Valeri Zykov, attended the Blue-and-Whites' game against Shinnik on May 14, performing the ceremonial kick-off in honor of the 45th anniversary of the match against Rangers.

6. An artist is present

Fans hold up posters for the Rangers vs Dynamo Moscow game. Photo via cenotaph on
Although there was no official match programme for the game, the famous match poster remains a favorite among collectors. The artwork used for the poster is by Spanish artist José Cros Estrems, who was known for his bullfighting illustrations.

7. The NASL connection

Willie Johnston playing for the NASL's Vancouver Whitecaps, 1980. Photo: John Denniston
Rangers' Willie Johnston, Alfie Conn, and Dave Smith all left their mark in the North American Soccer League. Johnston, who scored two goals in the Cup Winners' Cup Final against Dynamo, had two spells for the original Vancouver Whitecaps. The Scot made 59 appearances, tallying three goals and 19 assists. After a successful year playing indoor soccer at the Pittsburgh Spirit (15 goals and 8 assists in 21 games), Conn joined the NASL's San Jose Earthquakes, making two appearances in 1980. Smith played 15 games for the Los Angeles Aztecs and five for the Seattle Sounders during the 1976 NASL Season.

8. One-club men

Rangers manager Willie Waddell. Photo:

Rangers manager, Willie Waddell, was a one-club man during his playing career. Rangers captain, John Greig, was a one-club man both as a player and manager. His involvement with the club continues to this day.

9. A record still stands

Rangers and Dynamo Moscow have played each other on six occasions - three friendlies and three official games. The Gers have never lost to Dynamo, winning five matches and drawing one (the 1945 friendly). The teams last met in 2001, in the UEFA Cup Round of 16.

10. Success for both teams

The 1972 Cup Winners' Cup Final remains both Rangers and Dynamo's greatest success in European competition. Rangers came close to a second European trophy in 2008, but lost to Zenit Saint Petersburg in the Final of the 2007-08 UEFA Cup.

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