'A true fighter on and off the pitch' - Ex-Celtic star Stiliyan Petrov pays tribute to friend and Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen

Former Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has paid tribute to his friend and former rival Fernando Ricksen following the ex-Rangers defender's passing at the age of 43.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 12:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 1:44 pm
Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, right, battles for the ball with Rangers' Fernando Ricksen during the CIS Cup quarter-final clash between the two sides in November 2005

The former Dutch international lost his battle with motor neurone disease on Wednesday.

• READ MORE - Fernando Ricksen, Rangers legend and former Netherlands international, dies at 43Petrov, who faced off against Ricksen during Old Firm matches, posted a photo on social media of the two players battling for the ball, writing: "Rest in peace my friend.

"A true fighter on and off the pitch. My thoughts are with your family and friends."

The Bulgarian midfielder had his own health issues, being diagnosed with luekaemia in March 2012, with treatment ultimately proving successful. In August 2012 it was confirmed that the cancer was in remission.

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Rangers announced the sad news of Ricksen's passing on Wednesday morning. Tributes have been flooding in from across the footballing world from former clubs and team-mates.