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Jack the Lad: A Rangel for Wales?

This Saturday’s match has the potential to inspire some rather mixed emotions for Swans fans.

There is a very real possibility that Queens Park Rangers’ team will feature a familiar face wearing a familiar number on his back.

I know it’s happened numerous times before – former players coming back as part of the visiting squad to face the Swans.

But seeing the name Rangel, above the number 22 on the back of one of Rangers’ garish pink away shirts, is going to take some getting used to.

From the moment he arrived in South Wales during the summer of 2007, Angel Rangel was destined to become a firm favourite amongst the Liberty Stadium faithful.

The Spaniard didn’t just become part of the club, he became part of the community.

His support for charities in and around the Swansea area has been well-documented over the years.

The actions of Rangel and his wife in distributing sandwiches to the city’s homeless spawned one of the more memorable and unique football chants.

“He feeds who he wants, he feeds who he wants, Angel Rangel, he feeds who he wants!”

Rangel’s exploits on the field while playing for the Swans have been equally extensively reported.

My personal favourite moment was when he came on as a substitute and scored the late winner against Crystal Palace, in the first match after Paul Clement’s appointment as manager.

The look of sheer delight (and quite possibly surprise) on his face after scoring such a vital goal pretty much summed up how much the club and its success meant to him.

It comes as no surprise that despite only being on a short-term contract in London, the defender has already become a favourite with Rs fans.

What’s not to like? They’ve acquired a thoroughly decent human being who also just happens to be a talented and thoroughly committed footballer.

I can offer him no greater compliment than to say I wish football adopted rugby’s international residency rules, because I would have loved to see him play in the red shirt of Wales.

Perhaps, as a proud Spaniard, he would have had no desire to do so, but I think he would have made an excellent Welsh international player.

The Catalan may have been born closer to Barcelona than Blaenymaes, but he would be more deserving of wearing the dragon on his chest than some who have suddenly discovered distant allegiances to the Welsh cause over the years.

You never know, we might see one of the junior Rangels running out in the red of Wales in future.

Angel, I wish you the very best for your return to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, but I hope you return to West London empty handed, save for the good wishes of the Jack Army for the rest of the season – unless you’re still around for the return fixture at Loftus Road, of course!

C’mon you Swans!

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Jack the LadAngel Rangel

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