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Giovanni Reyna

Giovanni Reyna has known Van Bronckhorst since he was 'peeing his pants' as Dortmund & USMNT star to face man he's named after in Rangers tie

16:13 EAT 16/02/2022
Giovanni-Reyna
The Dutchman and the USMNT international enjoy a close relationship away from the pitch, but will be on opposite sides in the Europa League

Giovanni Reyna is set to face off against the man he's named after, Rangers boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, with Dortmund head coach Marco Rose having explained how they've known each other since the former was "peeing his pants".

Rangers will face Dortmund at Westfalenstadion on Thursday night in the first leg of their round of 32 Europa League tie, which marks the first meeting between the two clubs since the same stage of the 1999-20 UEFA Cup.

Van Bronckhorst played in both legs of that tie over 20 years ago alongside Claudio Reyna, who named his son after the Dutchman in light of the close friendship they struck up during their time together at Ibrox.

What's been said?

Dortmund boss Rose told reporters: "That's nice (the meeting between Reyna and Van Bronckhorst). It's cool that there's something like that in football and that you meet at that level.

"I assume that Gio is also happy to show his namesake what he has learned over the years. They've probably known each other for as long as Gio was still peeing his pants. But for both of them it is, of course, primarily about being successful."

What's Van Bronckhorst said about the reunion?

Rangers boss Van Bronckhorst has known Gio Reyna all his life and he remains in regular contact with the United States international and the rest of his family to this day.

And the Dutchman is looking forward to a special reunion with Reyna in a competitive setting, as he told a pre-match conference when asked to explain their relationship: "I played with his father Claudio and I am good friends with the whole family actually for many years.

"Gio I know from the day he was born so I have a special relationship with him as a friend but also as a player.

"He came to Holland to train with our youth academy at Feyenoord so he was in our house and we were trying to help him to be the player that he is now.

"We have always kept in contact and seen each other at least once a year. It is a special bond I have with the Reyna family and it will be special for both of us to play against each other.

"Hopefully it is a good game. The competitors that we are, we both want to win. It will be a very special moment."

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