LUCA GASPAROTTO only discovered the size of Rangers when he jetted into Glasgow from Canada.

Now the defender hopes he can be the next Light Blue protege to make it big in the Ibrox first team this season.

Toronto-born Gasparotto has spent the last 18 months learning his trade at Murray Park and will join some of his team-mates in Turkey next month as part of the Leonardo da Vinci Initiative.

Gasparotto has seen a number of his young colleagues star for boss Ally McCoist this season and is keen to be the next breakthrough act.

He said: "A year-and-a-half ago, my agent set up a trial for me and I came here for a week in pre-season.

"I must have caught the eye of the coaches and they liked what they saw and I moved over here shortly after.

"I am really happy here, it has been going well and I have trained with the first team a few times as well.

"I am just waiting for my opportunity and hopefully I can take it if it comes along.

"Everyone knows it is not that far away, it is within reaching distance.

"I was on the trip last year with Lewis Macleod, Barrie Mckay and Fraser Aird and now they are in the first team.

"I have been round with the squad a few times. No matter where I am training, I want to keep improving my game and get better.

"Even just training with them makes you better and you feel as though you are improving. The lads are great.

"Whether my chance is this year or next year, hopefully it comes along and I know I need to be ready when it does.

"Lewis and Barrie have shown that if you are good enough you will play."

With a trip to Turkey to look forward to, Gasparotto will return home for the festive period today.

Matters at Ibrox will not be far from his mind, however, as he prepares to jet back across the Atlantic.

He said: "I didn't know much about Rangers before I got here but I have learned so much about the club and it is amazing.

"I am happy that I came over here and I am really enjoying it.

"Back home in Toronto, there is nothing like this. Ibrox and Murray Park are amazing places to be and to play your football.

"It was a lot to take in at the beginning but I am used to it now and I am loving it.

"There is a massive Rangers support in Toronto. I am going back home today so I will be watching the games in the supporters club."