THE dubious delights of the Old Firm game always brought out the best in Ronald de Boer. He scored on his debut in the fixture, in a resounding 5-1 win for Rangers at Ibrox in 2000, and enjoyed great success against Celtic thereafter. The Dutch internationalist went on to net three more times in the fixture and savour some sweet victories in the following four years.

“I enjoyed the hostility,” said De Boer as he looked back on his time at Ibrox. “The opposition fans really hate you a lot. But that only made me stronger and even more determined to beat their team. I liked those games very much.”

It is fair to say the same has not, to date at least, been true of the player who will, if fit and free from suspension, play up front for his former club in the Glasgow derby match on Saturday, the Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos.

The 22-year-old has been involved in five of the matches since arriving in this country last year and is still waiting for his first goal. That failure has as much to do with the quality of player he has had alongside him when he has faced the dominant team in the country as his own abilities. But does he have the cool head required to flourish in such an intense atmosphere? Many remain to be convinced.

De Boer is now a youth coach at Ajax – the club he won the Champions League with in 1995 playing alongside twin brother Frank – in his native Netherlands and spends his days striving to improve the weaknesses in aspiring professionals.

He has an interesting take on the disciplinary problems Morelos clearly struggles with, having been booked 24 times and sent off on three occasions, one of which was rescinded on appeal, during his 18 months in Scotland. He feels it would counterproductive to try and stifle the aggression the forward plays with and believes Steven Gerrard should instead be attempting to encourage his most prolific marksman to channel his belligerence in the right manner.

“This boy has the temperament of a young man,” said De Boer. “He just has to control it. He has to realise that he is disadvantaging his team when he gets a red card. When you buy a new car you want to drive it fast. As time goes by you think: ‘What’s the point? I am still going to get from A to B’. He will learn.

“At the same time, Morelos can’t lose that aggression, he has to keep that. To be honest, it is probably one of the reasons he is such a good striker. But if he wants to get to the highest level he has to control his temperament and make sure it isn’t a negative influence.”

De Boer, though, feels Morelos is working under the perfect man to address the issues and become a more complete player.

“Gerrard was exactly the same when he was a young man,” he said. “He got a few red cards himself. I think Gerrard can help Morelos a lot with that because he has been there and done it himself.”

The quality of the South American, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions in the 2018/19 campaign, isn't in doubt. The same, however, cannot be said of the Rangers side he is a member of. They remain a work in progress.

De Boer played for the Ibrox club at a time when they lavished millions on household names. When he won the treble in 2003 he counted Mikel Arteta, Stefan Klos and Arthur Numan among his team-mates. He thinks supporters should be realistic about what the current side can achieve.

“You need solid foundations,” he said. “If the quality isn’t there you probably can’t win things. It will only change over time. When I see what is happening with Rangers I am encouraged. They have a young, hungry team and when they are organised well, as they have been under Gerrard, they have a chance. But these things take time. There will be a time that Rangers can beat Celtic again.”

De Boer is hoping to show he has lost none of his touch up front when he turns out for a Rest of the World side in the Star Sixes, a six-a-side tournament for legendary international footballers that is being held at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow next month.

“I enjoyed the four years I spent in Glasgow,” he said. “It will be nice to get back and see some old friends and colleagues as well as players I played against. It is always good to see those boys and find out what they are doing in life and what is on their minds. We have a great team.”

Star Sixes reunites the world’s greatest players in national team colours to renew old rivalries in six-a-side action. It will be held at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow, from January 4 to 6. Tickets from £20/£10 at