Incoming Rangers star Oscar Cortes' cousin has revealed his journey from a poverty-stricken background playing barefoot football and selling cocoa in Colombia to Ibrox.

And he's told how the youngster fleed the gang violence in his town to try and make a career in football.

The Lens winger seems set to move to Glasgow on loan after an underwhelming spell in France since his summer move from his homeland club Millonarios.

Cortes grew up in a town near the southwestern Colombian port city of Tumaco and his cousin and best friend, Emmanuel Cortes, explained the hardship the 20-year-old had to go through.

READ MORE: Ex-Rangers ace 'appalled' by Celtic hero's red card view

He said: "We grew up in a village called Candelilla. Football was basically the only way to avoid armed violence and joining a gang.

"At every available space, he was out barefoot playing football.

"There are not many resources there and every morning, Oscar and his family members got up at 5 am to sell cocoa at farms or bananas.

"Our environment was not good because we were surrounded by violence and illegal groups. The choice was to study, work in palm trees, join an armed gang or play football. He chose football.

"He made great sacrifices and went hungry many times. That was one of the things that strengthened Oscar a lot. Going through so much hunger, so much thirst, so many setbacks in life, made him strong.

"From an early age, Oscar was a boy that you could see had a lot of talent. At the time, he didn't have any football boots or even shoes to play with. But he didn't care. All he wanted to do was practice every day.

"He was eventually spotted and earned a place at Candelilla FC, learning, gaining confidence and even playing against men older than him.

"At that time it was difficult to leave our town because of the violence that surrounded us, but that was not a problem or setback for Oscar.

"He always had a winning mentality to fight for his dream.

"Another club, Llorente, took him on loan and that got him out of our homeland. He had to move because there was no support or even any real transportation at Tumaco.

"Once they signed him, he gained confidence and the club got permission from his parents to take him to live in Cali. It was difficult for them to accept he was leaving, but they knew it was a good proposal. The club agreed to send him to study at the same time.

"There was interest at the time from Boca Juniors and Club America among others, but then a scout from Millionarios spotted him at a tournament and he moved to their Under 17s. Due to his performances, discipline and work, he was almost immediately put into their first team."

And Cortes has underlined what Rangers fans can expect from his cousin when he joins on loan for the rest of the season.

He said: "He is a very attacking player, but always does his share of defensive duties too. Yes, he needs to improve a little in his lack of aggressiveness, but he is improving all the time.

"His talent is a gift from God. We used to call him the magician because of what he can do.

"He knows he has to keep his feet on the ground, but he is learning and continues to make great progress. He is still very young and this is only the beginning for him.

"I just recall him playing almost 24 hours on a football pitch! His diet is disciplined and he has always liked the gym. He is a well-focused boy.

"His qualities are humility, honesty and that he is a very responsible person. In addition, his discipline and empathy with other people.

"His idol and role model has always been Cristiano Ronaldo. His ambition has always been to play in the big leagues in Europe and to play for our national team

"There was never a moment where he stopped training, so seeing where he has ended up makes me very proud."