AS soon as the final whistle blew at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea had beaten Manchester City, Liverpool were crowned champions for the first time in 30 years.
Unsung hero Andy Robertson then immediately appeared on LFCTV via a Zoom call- hailing the mentality of Jurgen Klopp’s incredible squad and warning they were ready to accept the challenge of dominating for years to come.
Champions League and Premier League winner Andy Robertson has enjoyed an epic riseCredit: Getty – Contributor
Robertson, left, dreamed of footballing success as a boyCredit: Instagram@andyrobertson94
It’s easy to understand why the Scottish left back is so desperate to hang on to this winning feeling.
After all, this was the same Robertson, 26, who when he was beginning in the game with Queen’s Park moaned that life was “rubbish” and he was skint living off an apprentice wage in his homeland.
But his steady rise, moving to Dundee United, winning the SPFA Young Player of the Year and breaking into the international set-up in his first season showed his hunger and desire.
Now, he’s one of the first names on the Liverpool team-sheet, famed for his swashbuckling runs and pinpoint crosses, as much as he is for keeping wingers at bay.
And few could’ve predicted Robertson would become one of the best left backs in the world after his first day training with the new Premier League champions back in 2017. Here’s his epic rise.
MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH
Born in Glasgow as a Celtic fan, Robertson was introduced to football by his dad Brian, who played at amateur level, but was held back by a spinal injury that meant he had to wear a back brace.
Former footballers including Charlie Nicholas and Jim Duffy were family friends, and he would hear tales of their own football legacies that spurred him on to create his own.
However, that seemed a long way away after he was released by Celtic when he was jut 15 because he was deemed too small.
He concentrated on his studies and left St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire with decent enough grades to be accepted to an undergraduate degree at university.
At 15 Robertson, wearing the goalie gloves, was released by Celtic because of his sizeCredit: Instagram@andyrobertson94
Robertson, right, soon found himself thrust into Queen’s Park’s first teamCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
In his first full season he played 43 timesCredit: Andrew Barr – The Sun Glasgow
Robertson was on the books at Queen’s Park, and just as he thought he should follow a more academic route he was handed his debut in the first team.
In a remarkable first season with the Scottish Third Division side he racked up 43 appearances in all competitions, but despite that life wasn’t all rosy.
‘NEED A JOB’
Despite the upturn in his football career, Robertson was still adamant he needed to find a job.
Now earning £2.6million annually at Anfield, back in 2012 he was struggling financially.
And at 18, when you have youth on your side and you want to do everything and anything, he couldn’t help but moan about a lack of funds to fritter away.
He took to Twitter and wrote: “Life at this age is rubbish with no money #needajob.”
The Scot only had his travel expenses paid for by Queen’s Park.
He would later have to take a job on the tills at Marks and Spencer in Glasgow and also worked at Hampden Park for the Scottish FA.
He once showed former Man City skipper Vincent Kompany where he should sit.
“I once showed Vincent Kompany to his seat,” Robertson told the Guardian.
“Scotland played Belgium and I was told to show [the injured] Kompany to his seat and give him a programme.”
Robertson even worked on the lingerie department of M&S.
He said: “I was on the checkouts at M&S. My mates got discounts on Percy Pigs so they were delighted. I was only 17, 18.
“I actually worked a couple of shifts on women’s lingerie. They were short on staff and I got flung up there. You just talk s**t and hopefully they buy it.”
An impressive season later in Scotland’s third tier, Scottish Premiership side Dundee United signed him.
There was no need for a job anymore, this was his calling.
A move to Dundee United followedCredit: Peter Kelly – The Sun Glasgow
ONE SEASON WONDER
Under the watchful eye of manager Jackie McNamara, a steady full back in his day with Robertson’s boyhood club Celtic, the young prospect began to prosper.
Immediately, he was thrust into the first team by his boss, who trusted him implicitly.
And he rewarded that belief with a stunning goal against Motherwell within months of his arrival – running from his own half, before sending a 20-yard drive into the bottom with his magical left foot.
Again a first team regular, Robertson played 44 games in all competitions, scoring five times and became a firm fans’ favourite.
He was awarded the SPFA Young Player of the Year in 2014, and was named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year.
Robertson was also handed an International debut in a friendly against Poland by manager Gordon Strachan.
Afterwards, Strachan purred: “Andy came on there and the first time he picked it up he drove about 30 yards.
“I thought ‘that’s fantastic’. Absolutely no grey area, I’m going to do what I do. I loved seeing that first touch.”
Robertson won the SPFA Young Player of the Year in 2014Credit: Andrew Barr – The Sun Glasgow
In 2014 Robertson also made his first appearance for ScotlandCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
TO ENGLAND AND A MILLIONAIRE’S EXISTENCE
In the summer of 2014, Dundee United accepted a £2.85million bid from Premier League side Hull City for their star defender.
Ironically, as fate would have it, Hull’s chief scout Stan Ternent was checking on another player before being wowed by Robertson.
Ternent revealed: “I’d been looking at Stuart Armstrong (now at Southampton) but (Robertson) was the no brainer … he’d a history with Celtic and he was always a determined lad given how he’d recovered from his setbacks.
“You could see straight away he had ability and he can only get better.”
Robertson quickly settled in East Riding, winning the club’s Player of the Month award in his first month.
He made 24 appearances in his first season, but was unable to save them from relegation.
Other players jumped ship, but feeling a sense of loyalty to his employers Robertson stayed with Hull in the Championship, and he helped them bounce back to the Premier League in 2016.
Robertson is unveiled opposite Harry Maguire after signing for Hull City for £2.85mCredit: Instagram@andyrobertson94
Robertson became a firm fans favourite in East RidingCredit: Dave Pinegar – The Sun
Looking for cover for Alberto Moreno, Liverpool signed Robertson for an initial fee of £8million in 2017.
Moving to a team with such international pedigree, the new arrival could’ve been forgiven for feeling overawed and nervous.
And unfortunately for Robertson, it didn’t help that he vomited on his first training session in front of his new team-mates – earning himself a unflattering nickname with Klopp.
“I remember the first day there were only six or seven of us in because the lads were still on pre-season,” Robertson said.
“We had to do that lactate test, which the Germans love, where you have to run to your maximum.
“They set up poles all around the pitch and you have to make each pole on the whistle.
“It gets faster and faster and faster. It’s similar to the bleep test but it’s a lot harder and faster.
Robertson has established himself as one of the world’s best left backs at LiverpoolCredit: PA:Press Association
Jurgen Klopp calls him Sick Boy after he threw up on his first day at trainingCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Robertson is now a Premier League champion with the RedsCredit: BBC
“I remember running alongside Danny Ings and I was just sick everywhere. I tried to hold it in but I had to let it go and it was terrible. Day one.
“Luckily the gaffer wasn’t there and I thought I got away with it.
“They were back three days later and he called me Mr Sick Boy. I was gutted.”
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