Antonio Colak determined to become latest Croatian sensation at Rangers

The 28-year-old striker joined the Light Blues from PAOK on a three-year deal on Thursday.

By Press Association Published: 8 July 2022 - 2.03pm

Antonio Colak wants to be the next Croatia international to make a mark at Rangers.

The 28-year-old striker joined the Light Blues from PAOK on a three-year deal on Thursday and while the fee is undisclosed, it has been widely reported to be £1.8million.

He is well aware that former Croatia stars Dado Prso and Nika Jelavic were fan favourites during their time in Govan and that Nikola Katic and Borna Barisic are currently at Ibrox.

Colak, who scored a double at Ibrox last August to knock the Gers out of the Champions League qualifiers as loan club Malmo went through 4-2 on aggregate, told Rangers TV that he followed the Light Blues’ fortunes in the past and has respect for the club’s Croatian heroes.

He said: “It was not only the game because of the game I played last year, which was an amazing atmosphere.

“I know from my past, I am a football addict and was always following all the leagues.

“I was following Rangers since Dado Prso, Nikica Jelavic and Nacho Novo and watched the players being successful and scoring to bring the fans and the people on their side.

“This feeling gives me goosebumps and I want to achieve similar things. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to join Rangers.

“It’s not only Dado Prso and Nikica Jelavic. There’s Borna and Nikola right now, they’re doing a really great job and of course I want to keep that tradition going, to give everything for the club. I want to achieve the targets the club wants and to win titles.”

Colak also revealed a tenuous link with former Bayern Munich and Netherlands striker Roy Makaay, who is an assistant coach to boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst at Ibrox.

He said: “The first time I spoke with Gio it was an incredible conversation.

“He told me directly the way that he wanted to play and I saw myself directly in there.

“Of course, Roy, I was a young fan of his. There’s a cool story – not too many people know that his second name is Antonius.

“My father always called me Anton because of that because he was such a fan of Roy and he wanted to see me as a number nine.

“I’m looking forward to working with them, to enjoy every training session and to learn day by day and to become a better player.

“I’m a number nine, I’m a striker and I want to score as many goals as I can. I want to bring my work, pressing and movement to stretch teams.

“With my personality and positivity, I want to bring everybody on my side and the team’s side and to have a successful year or years.”

Colak, capped three times by Croatia, is also hoping his move to Rangers can boost his chances of going to the World Cup.

He said:  “First of all I want to settle in and acclimatise as fast as possible with the team.

“I’ve seen from afar that it’s an amazing group – they wouldn’t have achieved all of these things if they didn’t have an amazing team spirit.

“I want to bring myself, my positivity and personality.

“Then after good games with Rangers, goals and hard work, I want to come again to the national team because at the end of the year we have a big target of course – the World Cup – and I think I’m still in (contention) there.”

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