Jean-Alain Boumsong has backed his former club Rangers to bounce back immediately and challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title.
The Light Blues are in the Scottish Championship after starting life in the Scottish League Two following their financial collapse in 2012.
Having achieved back-to-back promotions to the second tier they lost out on a play-off to Motherwell last season and have been frozen out of the Premiership for at least 12 months.
But the former defender, who played for Rangers under Alex McLeish in 2004 and was sold on to Newcastle United for £8 million, told Fifa.com he believes it won’t be long before they are competing with Celtic again.
“Rangers will immediately bounce back and compete against Celtic,” he said. “If they come back to the SPL they will have to win.
“But to lose against Celtic [is] unacceptable. Some fans even choose to lose the championship but to win the Old Firm derbies.”
Boumsong played in three Old Firm derbies during his time in Glasgow and says they are the best games he’s experienced.
“It was very special to play in the Old Firm derby.
“It’s probably the best derby in the world.
“I played for Lyon, Juventus, Panathinaikos, Newcastle, but [in Old Firm games] all the people in the stands are standing and singing the same songs.
“It is impressive. Your team-mate can be two metres away from you but he can’t hear you because the noise level is so high.”