Alfredo Morelos insists he will forever be an 'idol' at Rangers, but reckoned he had to leave because it was time for a change.

The Colombian striker netted his first goal for Santos last week to end a ten-month goalscoring drought, with his last goal coming for Rangers last April.

His move to Brazil turned into a disaster initially after Pele's old club were relegated for the first time in their 111-year history and he spent most of the relegation battle sidelined through injury.

But he insists he's turned the corner in an extensive interview in South America after admitting he loved his time at Ibrox.

Morelos said: "I came to Santos from a very big club, Rangers, in Scotland. And I had a very good season there, both in the Europa League and the Champions League.

"I grew as a player and there were six very good seasons for me, scoring a lot of goals.

"But I didn't renew my contract with Rangers and the decision was to come here to Santos.

"The truth was I was happy with the opportunity to come to Santos, it's also a very big club in South America, a club that has a lot of history because of the great players who played here and the history of the club is interesting. It captured my attention.

"I knew I was signing for a very big club. I am very happy to have scored my first-ever goal for the club, especially in a derby against Sao Paulo.

"Many people call me an idol at Rangers. I scored a lot of goals there and each season there was an opportunity for me to make my mark in Scottish football by scoring.

"One of the titles most remembered by people was when we won the League. Then we won a Cup and reached the final of the Europa League.

"I became the club's all-time top scorer in European tournaments.

"So a lot of people tell me I am an idol and it's great to know that many people love me because of that, because of the good work I did there.

"At Rangers, the numbers don't lie when it comes to the goals I scored.

"Now it's time to keep working hard at Santos. For me this season is going to be about work, work and work."

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And Morelos,27, admitted it took some time for him to adapt to Brazilian football after moving from Scotland.

And he's aiming to regain his Colombia place after winning the last of his 11 caps three years ago.

He said: "The adaptation was complex. I knew that the Brazilian league is obviously very different from what I was used to because of the climate.

"Brazilian football is also of a high level, and you need to be well physically and mentally prepared to face things in the best way. "I think I am getting fitter every week after my injuries and  I'm progressing little by little. I'm doing very well, without physical discomfort

"I always want to play for the national team, but my first priority is to do well with Santos. Work hard, help the team and score goals.

"Obviously, I wish and want to return to the national team, but to do that I must perform for Santos.

"My medium and long-term plan is to stay with Santos. Obviously, I couldn't do much last season because of injury but I arrived here with the aim of smashing it and I still think I can."