Joey Veerman in tears after early substitution in Euro 2024 two years on from controversial Rangers comments

-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Former Rangers target Joey Veerman was left distraught after getting hooked in the first half of the Netherlands 3-2 defeat to Austria at Euro 2024.

The Oranje had fought back twice to give themselves a chance at finishing top of Group D, but Marcel Sabitzer's winner 10 minutes from time means the Dutch only progressed as one of the best placed teams in third place behind the Austria and France. PSV midfielder Veerman was recalled to the starting line-up by Ronald Koeman after coming off the bench in the 0-0 draw with France but lasted just 35 minutes before being hauled off by the former Barcelona star.

Former Netherlands star Rafael van der Vaart admitted it was tough on the 25-year-old but backed the decision made by Koeman. He told NOS: "I felt sorry for Joey Veerman. I was happy he got taken off because it actually became super sad to watch him play."

Veerman, 25, is a player who is very familiar to Rangers fans, having faced off against the Light Blues in qualifying for the Champions League on two occasions. The Gers got past the Eredivisie side in the play-off round in August 2022, which prompted a bitter response from the Dutchman who claimed that the Ibrox side "didn't deserve" to play in the continent's premier club competition.

And 12 months later ahead of the second leg clash between the two sides in Eindhoven, Veerman again lashed out at the Gers for their performance in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox in the first leg, claiming they had spent most of the game shooting "balls into the stands".

"That is becoming a repetitive story, we are not just one man in the sixteen. We have many players who would like to have the ball, but too little going forward. We have to work on that. Rangers shoot balls into the stands throughout the game."

The central midfielder, who was once a transfer target for Rangers during Steven Gerrard's tenure as boss, then appeared to change his stance on the Light Blues just a few weeks later when he praised the Ibrox atmosphere when comparing it to lining up for his country against the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Arena.

Speaking to Nieuw Volendam he said: "The ambiance in the Aviva Stadium was beautiful. But at Ibrox against Rangers it is even more intense. Nothing can come close. But I did like it, those crazy Irish."