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Barry Ferguson, MBE (born 2 February 1978 in Glasgowmarker) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder. He plays for English Premier League club Birmingham City.

Ferguson overtook David Narey's record for the number of European appearances made whilst playing for a Scottish club, by starting in a UEFA Cup match against Werder Bremen. He broke Kenny Dalglish's record for the number of competitive European appearances by a Scottish footballer when he played in his 80th match in Europe, against Sporting Lisbon. Ferguson has made 82 appearances in European competitions, all for Rangers, which makes him the record European appearance holder at the club. He was also inducted into the Rangers F.C. Hall of Fame.

Ferguson made 45 appearances for the Scotland national team. In 2009, following incidents while on Scotland duty, he was stripped of the captaincy of Rangers and told he would no longer be considered for international selection.

Ferguson was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire MBE on 17 June 2006.

Early life

Ferguson has been a keen Rangers fan since childhood. His older brother, Derek, was a member of the Rangers squad in the 1980s (though the younger sibling's achievements would eventually eclipse those of the older) and the young Barry was exposed to the inner circle of the club long before officially joining Rangers.

Club career

First spell at Rangers

Ferguson was promoted to the first team squad for the 1994-95 season. He made his debut on the last day of the 1996-97 season against Hearts on 10 May 1997. He would make a number of sporadic appearances the following season under then managers Walter Smith's policy of easing him into the first team. Ferguson became a regular fixture in the first team during the 1998-99 season under new manager Dick Advocaat. The Dutchman soon secured Ferguson on a long term contract as he became an important member of a multi-million pound squad. He scored his first career goal in a League Cup match against Alloa Athletic on 18 August 1998. Injury prevented him from being involved in the 1998-99 season run-in as the club achieved the Treble. Ferguson watched the 1999 Scottish Cup Final from the stands as Rangers won the match 1–0, thanks to Rod Wallace's 48th minute goal.

Ferguson was so influential the following season that he given an extended six-year deal at Rangers in October 1999. He was named the Scottish Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year for season 1999-00, with Giovanni van Bronckhorst a close second. It is undoubtedly one of the reasons why Advocaat chosen Ferguson to become his new captain.

In the autumn of 2000, with Rangers having a poor start to the season and the defence in particular having a horrendous run of form, Advocaat was already thinking about changes. When the club crashed out of the UEFA Champions League group stage at the hands of AS Monaco largely because of a mistake by captain Lorenzo Amoruso, he was stripped of the captaincy and it instead went to the 22 year-old Ferguson. The young Ferguson would go on to successfully guide his team to a League Cup and Scottish Cup double the following season, under manager Alex McLeish who replaced Advocaat in December 2001.

During their second season together, 2002-03, Ferguson captained the side to a domestic treble. After an impressive haul of eighteen goals from midfield he also won Scottish Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and Scottish PFA Players' Player of the Year.

Move to Blackburn Rovers

On 29 August 2003, Ferguson joined Premier League club Blackburn Roversmarker for a fee of £7.5 million. With Everton also chasing Ferguson, Rangers initially denied that he was leaving. He made his Blackburn debut in a Premier League match against Liverpool on 19 September at Ewood Parkmarker. His first goal came against the same team, during a League Cup match, at Ewood Park, on 29 October.

Graeme Souness made Ferguson captain of Blackburn in July 2004 and he seemed to be adapting well to Premiership football, despite the team still struggling and a managerial change, which saw Mark Hughes replacing Souness. However, after just 16 months at the club, including a lengthy period out through injury after fracturing his kneecap in a Premiership match against Newcastle United, Ferguson submitted a written transfer request, admitting that the draw of playing in the Premiership and a Lancashire derby could not compare with an Old Firm match. After much discussion between the clubs, a fee of £4.5 million was agreed and Ferguson rejoined Rangers just before the close of the transfer window in January 2005. Ferguson would later reveal in his book that the fee Rangers paid was actually £100,000, plus the fees Blackburn owed from the original transfer.

Return to Ibrox

Ferguson's second debut for Rangers came in a League Cup semi final victory over Dundee United. He was a 69th minute substitute for Alex Rae during the 7-1 win. His first goal since his return was the opening goal in a 1-1 draw against Inverness CT on 5 March 2005. Ferguson played in the 2005 Scottish League Cup Final and was part of the Rangers team that won the league on the last day of the season.

At the start of the 2005-06 season, the then manager Alex McLeish re-appointed Ferguson as club captain. McLeish did not want to remove the captaincy mid-season from Fernando Ricksen who held the position the previously. Ferguson played the later part of the season carrying an ankle injury as Rangers limped into a poor third place finish in the Scottish Premier League. At the end of the season, Ferguson revealed had had snapped ligaments and confessed that he should have undergone the surgery sooner.



On 1 January 2007 it was announced on BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme that Ferguson had been stripped of the Rangers captaincy after a meeting with then manager Paul Le Guen. He was also dropped from the squad for the next match. Later Le Guen claimed Ferguson was undermining him. The match at Motherwell was won 1-0 by Rangers, and goalscorer Kris Boyd reportedly showed solidarity with the deposed skipper by holding up 6 fingers: Ferguson's shirt number. Following the resignation of Paul Le Guen as manager on 4 January, Ferguson was re-instated to the Rangers side by caretaker manager Ian Durrant and was also re-appointed as captain. Later that year, sports journalist Graham Spiers published, Paul Le Guen: Enigma (ISBN 1845962915), documenting his tenure at the club. According to Spiers, Le Guen left the club because he was being "undermined" by other Rangers personnel, including Ferguson and then club doctor, Ian McGuinness.

The 2007-08 season began well for Ferguson as he scored a brace in the first SPL match against Inverness. His scoring form continued and he netted the second in a 3-0 win over rivals Celtic as well as in the UEFA Champions League against VfB Stuttgart. The Old Firm goal was Ferguson's first against Celtic since the 2002 Scottish Cup final where he scored a free-kick in a 3-2 win for Rangers. In January 2008, he scored a controversial goal in Rangers' Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat of Hearts. Ferguson later admitted handling the ball in the build up to the goal but that the infringement was unintentional.

On 14 May 2008, Ferguson made his 400th appearance for Rangers in the UEFA Cup Final against Zenit Saint Petersburg at City of Manchester Stadiummarker. He captained the side to a 2-0 defeat.

The summer of 2008 saw Ferguson undergo an operation on a fresh injury problem that would see him ruled out until early November. The injury was not the same one that plagued him towards the end of the last season. He returned to the first team on 1 November in a 5-0 league win over Inverness at Ibroxmarker. After an extended drinking session with Rangers and Scotland team mate Allan McGregor after the Netherlands match which they lost 3-0 and along with making inappropriate gestures while on the bench during a Scotland match against Iceland, he was stripped of the captain's arm band for both club and country.

Birmingham City

On 17 July 2009, Ferguson completed a move to English Premier League newcomers Birmingham City on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, reported as "in the region of £1.2m". Joining up with boss Alex McLeish once again, the former Rangers supremo stated that Ferguson has "unfinished business in England" and that he believed the former Scottish international is "very capable of competing with the best players in the Premier League." He made his debut on the opening day of the Premier League against Manchester United on 15 August 2009.

International career

Ferguson made his international debut at the age of 20 against Lithuania on 5 September, 1998. However, an injury plagued season prevented him from picking up more caps. Indeed, Ferguson did not return to the Scotland set up until a year later, starting in a 2-1 win against Bosnia Herzegovinamarker on 4 September 1999.

Ferguson played along side Craig Burley in both legs of Scotland's Euro 2000 play-off aggregate defeat to England. He was appointed captain of the national side in 2004 by then manager Berti Vogts following the retirement of Paul Lambert. Ferguson would tasted further play-off pain as he captained Scotland to a 6-1 aggregate loss against the Netherlands. Despite winning the first leg at Hampden Parkmarker 1-0, thanks to a James McFadden strike, a disastrous night in Amsterdammarker saw the side beaten 6-0 which ended the nation's hopes of going to Euro 2004.

Ferguson captained Scotland a total of 28 times. He lead the side to arguably one of the greatest results in the nation's modern footballing history when they beat former World Champions France 1-0 at the Parc des Princesmarker in Parismarker on 12 September 2007. This completed a double header of 1-0 wins against the French during the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

Ferguson has received criticism for being a disruptive influence on the team despite captaining his country for years. On 3 April 2009, he was banned from ever representing Scotland again, after a serious breach of squad disciplineand the captain's armband was given to Darren Fletcher. Additionally, his club, Rangers, stripped Ferguson of his captain's role and suspended him for two weeks without pay.

Following the dismissal of George Burley as manager of Scotland, SFA chief executive Gordon Smith confirmed that the incoming manager would be free to select Ferguson should he so wish.

International goals

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
Num Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 30 May 2000 Dublinmarker, Irelandmarker 2-1 2-1 Friendly match
2. 7 September 2002 Toftirmarker, Faroe Islandsmarker 2-2 2-2 UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
3. 17 November 2007 Glasgowmarker, Scotlandmarker 1-1 1-2 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying


Career statistics

289||44||34||6||24||4||82||7||431||61
47||3||1||0||2||1||colspan="2"|-||50||4
336||47||35||6||26||5||82||7||481||65


Honours

Rangers

References

  1. "Simone steals Rangers glory" Guardian.co.uk (8 November 2000)
  2. "Rovers sign Ferguson" BBC Sport Website (29 August 2003)
  3. Blackburn 1-3 Liverpool Soccerbase (19 September 2003)
  4. "Blackburn 3-4 Liverpool" Soccerbase (29 October 2003)
  5. Rovers rue Ferguson injury blow Telegraph.co.uk (29 December 2003)
  6. Paul Le Guen: Enigma - A Chronicle of Trauma and Turmoil at Rangers, Random House, ISBN 1845962915


External links



1996-97 Rangers Premier Division 1 0 - - - 1 0
1997-98 7 0 4 0 - - 11 0
1998-99 Premier League 23 1 3 0 4 1 10 0 40 2
1999-00 31 4 5 1 1 0 12 0 49 5
2000-01 30 2 3 1 3 1 11 0 47 4
2001-02 22 1 5 2 3 1 9 3 39 7
2002-03 36 16 6 2 4 0 2 0 48 18
2003-04 3 0 - - 2 0 5 0

2003-04 Blackburn Roversmarker Premier League 15 1 - 1 1 - 16 2
2004-05 21 2 1 0 - - 22 2

2004-05 Rangers Premier League 13 2 - 2 0 - 15 2
2005-06 32 5 2 0 2 0 10 0 46 5
2006-07 32 4 1 0 - 8 3 41 7
2007-08 38 7 3 0 3 1 18 1 62 9
2008-09 22 2 3 0 2 0 0 0 27 2

2009-10 Birmingham City Premier League 11 0 0 0 1 0 - 12 0

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