It’s been a meteoric rise for Andy Robertson – in the space of a few years he’s gone from facing the Blue Toon to Barcelona.
Tomorrow he is expected to line up for Liverpool in the Champions League final for the second year in a row.
Ahead of the showpiece against Tottenham Hotspur in Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium the Scotland captain is arguably the world’s best left-back.
After his release by Celtic as a teenager Robertson learned the game in League Two with Queen’s Park before moves to Dundee United, Hull City and then Anfield two years ago.
However, the 25-year-old’s journey to the top of European football hasn’t always been straightforward.
Peterhead boss Jim McInally remembers Robertson being given a torrid time by then Blue Toon midfielder Jamie Redman – now with Montrose –when he was a Spiders player during the 2012-13 season.
McInally admits Robertson was viewed as the weak link of Queen’s Park’s defence because of his penchant for bombing forward.
He said: “Andy plays in a team that attacks all the time now. But when he was at Queen’s Park we would always put Jamie Redman up against him.
“We’d play diagonals and long balls into Jamie. He was good in the air and would be able to knock it into the channels.
“Jamie’s prowess in the air meant Rory McAllister and our other strikers could play off what he did against Robertson.
“That season when we played Queen’s Park that was always one of the plans we had. Andy spent so much time attacking we used to try to exploit in behind him with Jamie.
“I don’t know – maybe Mauricio Pochettino will have a similar plan for tomorrow’s game!”
Following difficult afternoons at Balmoor in the early part of his career, McInally believes Robertson has developed into a typical, modern-day full-back – and that his career path should be an inspiration to all Scottish players.
He added: “He’s a modern full-back who attacks so much and he doesn’t really have to worry too much about defending.
“For modern full-backs defending has almost become a secondary skill – it seems to be all about attacking and starting attacks.
“After he moved from Queen’s Park I saw a lot of him playing for Dundee United. When he was at United he didn’t really improve defensively, but he got even better going forward.
“That was a really good Dundee United side who attacked all the time.
“Maybe I’m a dinosaur but there were times I’d watch and wish he would defend a bit more. But that season (2013/14) he probably created more goals than he cost at the other end so you might say it was worth it.
“It’s been a great transition Andy has had in his career and in my own personal experience the better team I played in the easier I found it.
“When you played at a higher level it became easier and Andy might feel the same. At the lower levels you’re playing with lesser players and the good players have to do more and it becomes harder.
“I think he’s a great example to any young Scottish player in this day and age of disappointment at youth level.
“So many teenagers get released from full-time clubs and are devastated, but he’s an inspiration.
“More of them need to think about going to lower league level and learning the game like Andy did.”