Andy Robertson: Leading Scotland to finals would trump everything

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Scotland captain Andy Robertson believes squad can reach finals
International friendly: Scotland v Belgium
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Friday, 7 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport Scotland website and app.

New Scotland captain Andy Robertson says leading his country to a major tournament would trump all of his other footballing achievements.

The Liverpool left-back played in this year's Champions League final.

But he said being the captain of a Scotland team that qualified for the first time since the World Cup in 1998 would be even more special.

"The biggest honour you can have is to play for your country," Robertson said.

"If you are the one to lead them back to a championship then that would be special. It will be special for all the lads because none of us have experienced it."

At the age of 24, the Scotland captaincy has found Robertson at a relatively early stage of his career, as he prepares to lead his country in Friday's Hampden friendly with Belgium.

The former Queen's Park player admits he has never actually captained a team in a competitive fixture before but has targeted a long and successful tenure as the leader of his country.

"I aim to lead by example on the pitch and off it," he said. "If anyone ever needs someone to talk to, I'm the man to do it.

"I made my debut quite young, so I thought I aim to be in this squad for a long time.

"Once you make your debut, you think 'can I captain this team?'. You can't quite imagine it.

"I'm delighted it's happened at an early age and hopefully I can lead this country for a long time."

'Women's success provides fire in the belly'

Scotland captain Andy Robertson in training
Andy Robertson was leading from the front at training on Thursday

Robertson admits that seeing Scotland's women reach the World Cup finals gives extra motivation to match their achievement.

Shelley Kerr's side defeated Albania 2-1 on Tuesday to qualify for the tournament for the first time.

"I saw at the end of the game when they were all jumping about celebrating," added Robertson. "What a fantastic achievement.

"Of course, it leaves a wee bit of fire in the belly for any squad. We will look at that and think 'that could be us'.

"That'll be the aim for this campaign and a number of campaigns going forward."

Robertson 'has got better and better'

Manager Alex McLeish believes Robertson's path to the national captaincy makes him an "absolutely inspirational" presence.

Robertson was let go by Celtic as a youth player before making his way to Anfield via Queen's Park, Dundee United and Hull City.

"It is a brilliant story," McLeish said. "He has been playing at the top level in the last year. He hasn't only nailed his position, he has got better and better.

"Every week I see him on television he is making goals from left, right and centre. He is almost like an extra attacker.

"But for the man himself, for young players, it is absolutely inspirational."

McLeish is poised to hand Hearts centre-back John Souttar his debut in a three-man defence alongside Blackburn's Charlie Mulgrew and Celtic's Kieran Tierney against Belgium.

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