Ridvan Yilmaz recently spoke to Turkish media about his first season in Scotland and how it differed from his initial expectations. In the interview with TRT Spor he spoke about his relationship with Rangers fans, life in Scotland and his future plans.
Ridvan Yilmaz on Rangers Fans
As a young man who had barely been away from home it must’ve been difficult when he first moved. He has stated though, that the fans helped massively with the transition;
I have been very warmly welcomed since the first day I went to Rangers. The Scots are incredibly good people. People have been very helpful. Everyone helped with the language. From the first day I went, there was no question mark in my mind. I live there alone, no camp in Scotland on match days. I'm at home on game days. On match days, we gather 3 hours before, eat and go to the match.Ridvan Yilmaz to TRTspor
It’s always nice when the fans and people around the club are able to help a player settle. It was always debated whether he regretted the move here and immediately wanted to go back to Turkiye. The weekly reports from Turkish media linking him with loans and permanent moves back didn’t help with this though.
Added to that he also said this regarding the fans ‘When I first went to Rangers, I found the passion of the fans very strange. The fans are incredible, they rejoice differently, they have a different tone of voice.’ I think this was a compliment?! In all seriousness, it’s brilliant to hear he has such a positive view of the Rangers fan base and that he seems happy in Scotland.
Tweets like the one below also relay the message he was portraying in this interview;
These type of messages, coupled with his performances to end the season really endeared him to the Rangers support. Hopefully next season he remains at Ibrox as first choice left back.
Ridvan Yilmaz on Playing in The SPFL
It’s no secret that he isn’t the most physically intimidating defender on the planet and he quickly found that to be a struggle in Scotland. The club also recognised this and put the left back on a training plan to help him gain some muscle. He had this so say about the physical demands of the Scottish game;
Football players love to work amazingly. I didn't have enough levels when I went physically. I was 62 kilos when I went, they told me that you will be stronger when you reach 65 kilos. They told me you will gain weight, not from fat, gain weight from muscle. I am currently 67 kilos. When you work, you do not stand out, when you do not work, you sink. Because everyone works there. They adapt the desire to work to people.Ridvan Yilmaz to TRTspor
Rangers identified the biggest issue he would have with his adaptation to the Scottish game and immediately helped him work on it. It’s brilliant for both the club and the player that he’s been willing to put the work in and has seen positive results.
He also had this to say about playing against other SPFL sides ‘Every player is very strong. The league is very tough, because we are a big team, the opponents play us by retreating.’ The harsh reality of Scottish football eh? Fortunately having players comfortable in position such as Ridvan massively help against the low block. He proved towards the end of the season he was capable of taking players on and finding those accurate passes through the lines.
He’s now settled well into the league and hopefully, gets even better next season.
During the interview, he shed some light on his career plan, for the near future and beyond. To appease any worries of Rangers fans immediately he had this to say;
Among my career plan, I have no plans to return to Turkey at this stageRidvan Yilmaz to TRTspor
His near future remains at Ibrox and he made that clear, if it wasn’t already obvious through various tweets in which he confessed his love for the club. Although he did say he missed playing for Besiktas at Vodafone Park and would love to end his career playing there. That statement is absolutely no cause for concern for Rangers fans though, considering he only turned 22-years-old in May.
This was a very positive interview to read. In case it all doesn’t totally make sense, it was translated from Turkish as that’s where the interview was held. It really put a smile on my face reading the warm sentiments he felt towards the club and the fans. Ridvan Yilmaz is here to stay, for the foreseeable anyway.
He really impressed me towards the end of last season and has to be the first choice at left back come the competitive fixtures. For me, he does anyway. He offers something completely different to Borna Barisic. He offers a better ability to help in breaking defences down. Ridvan definitely isn’t as good a crosser as Barisic but I don’t mind that. What he does bring is the ability to drive through the middle and create different openings.
Personally, I’m really excited to see him at work next season. How do you feel about the interview? Do you think he should be first choice next season?