| Caniggia says McLeish wrecked his dream of playing in the Champions League
Glasgow: Argentine striker Claudio Caniggia claims Rangers manager Alex McLeish is as “lightweight as paper” for reneging on a promise to offer him a new contract with the Scottish champions.
“Alex McLeish has deeply disappointed me as a person and as a coach. He misled me the whole season,” Caniggia was quoted as saying in Scottish newspapers on Wednesday.
“Alex McLeish has shown himself to be soft — like Mickey Mouse. He is as lightweight as paper.
“He informed me the Rangers board had told me I had to go. I remember very well him telling me if we won the league he should have enough power to extend my stay for one more year.”
Caniggia scored a number of crucial goals as McLeish’s side held off Glasgow rivals Celtic to win the domestic treble — League Cup, Premier League and Scottish Cup — for a seventh time but was released last week.
Caniggia believes Rangers would not have won the league if Celtic were not so drained after their energy-sapping run to the Uefa Cup final in Seville, where they lost 2-3 after extra-time to Porto.
“Let’s face it, Rangers only won the league because Celtic were so obsessed with winning the Uefa Cup,” said Caniggia.
“They arrived at the final game of the season completely shattered while we were well rested.”
The former River Plate, Atalanta, AS Roma and Boca Juniors forward, who could return to Argentina after being part of their World Cup squad last summer, said McLeish had wrecked “his last dream” by denying him the chance to play in the Champions League.
“I have done everything in my career except play in the Champions League. Alex McLeish has destroyed my last dream in football.”