From Celtic reject to Scotland's Skipper: The Prominent rise of Andy Robertson
Brazilian author Paulo Coelho put forward the guerdon for hard work in a novel named "The Alchemist" in 1988 by saying, "When we try to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."
Andy Robertson's rapid rise as a footballer and that quote from the famous Brazilian can be related to each other. The newly named Scotland Skipper and Liverpool's left back possesses three extraordinary qualities - hard work, perseverance and dedication. These traits have outshined some of the players to become one of the best full-backs in the Premier League right now.
Every Scottish kid would love to represent Celtic or Rangers because they are the best in one part of Great Britain. Born in Glasgow, Andy Robertson had the privilege to represent the Celts at the youth level. But his dreams got shattered when he was termed too small by the Scottish giants at the age of 15. This lead to the termination of his contract.
Upon his expiry of the contract, Robertson was in total dejection. He was looking out for a new club to play every week. This old tweet of the left back went viral when he signed for the English giants Liverpool.
A new journey awaited for the youngster with a Third division outfit Queens Park. After his completion of high school, the defender was on the brink of starting an undergraduate course in a university since he was not able to find any suitable football club. But, putting his footballing abilities first, his debut did not come too far. His 40 appearances during that season with the Scotland side helped his side finish third in the league.
This one year stint with the lower division team was enough to convince Dundee United to bring him to the Tannadice Park. He was slotted into the first team directly. Into his seventh league appearance, the Scottish left-back scored his first goal against Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.
He spent a year with Dundee United and took up the field 36 times. During his time at Scotland, Andy Robertson attracted interest from Everton and Swansea, but chose to sign for the Premier League outfit Hull City instead as he was looking for more game time.
An offer of 2.85 million was placed by Hull City on Dundee United's table, which assisted them to obtain the signature of the 24-year-old. Andy Robertson signed a three-year contract with the Tigers upon his arrival.
Former Hull City manager Steve Bruce admired the traits of the Scottishmen by saying, "You just had to look at him at Dundee United last year, the natural aspects, and think 'wow.' As soon as you see him once whoosh up that line you go 'bloomin' heck'. There are not many people that move like that very often. It's reward for everybody at the club, but it's more rewarding for him than anybody."
The left-back spent three years at the KCOM Stadium, making 99 appearances and netting 5 goals in the process. Andy Robertson enjoyed a Championship title victory, and suffered two relegation seasons with the Tigers.
Hull City were prepared for the inevitable departure of their defender following their relegation in 2017. Liverpool were actively searching for a left-back in the market, and failure to lure Ryan Sessegnon and Emerson constrained Jurgen Klopp to activate the release clause for Hull City's Andy Robertson.
Several eyebrows were raised when Liverpool decided to swap the Scottish international to Anfield. That was mainly down to the fact that Robertson was part of the relegated side and the defense shipped 80 goals in a Premier League campaign. That did not bother both the player and the manager because Andy Robertson just had one mantra - to improve his overall game with regular game time.
Jurgen Klopp handed the debut to Andy Robertson in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield in August. But, the German manager demanded more from the left back who wanted the 24-year-old to adapt to Liverpool's style of play, which is by playing more interplays with the wingers and midfielders rather than stowing in plenty of crosses.
During the start of the season, his compatriot Alberto Moreno was preferred over him. The Liverpool boss had no second thoughts about Andy's qualities, but he wanted him to work behind the scenes to ease him into the team. The Spanish left-back kept his place until he picked up an injury in December and which ruled him out for more than two months.
The Scottish defender grabbed this fantastic opportunity with two hands. Even after Alberto Moreno reported to the first team duty, Andy did not holdback as he was preferred over the Spanish international in the left flank. He played a crucial hand in Liverpool's en route to Champions League runners up campaign.
Defensively reliable, and ability to drill in balls to feed the attackers, Andy Robertson has become an integral part of Liverpool's defense. His partnership with Virgil Van Dijk in the left side of the defense has cut down the leakage of goals and imposed a calm atmosphere at the back for the Reds.
His first-rate attitude voiced out again in an interview after the heartbreak in Kyiv, "It was an achievement to get here but second is as good as last, in my book." His self-belief and never-say-die attitude has played a big part in Roberson's meteoric rise.
He has won 22 senior caps in the last four years for his country. Following his immense performances over the last two years in top-flight football, Andy Robertson has been named as the captain of Scotland today. From getting rejected by his hometown club to captaining his country, Andy Robertson's extortionate ascent has proved his grit and passion for the game of football.