Liverpool’s Andy Robertson closing in on ‘all-time great’ status ahead of Champions League Final
While the season is already over for many footballers, the former Hull City man still has his two biggest fixtures to come and just four days apart.
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Liverpool’s Andy Robertson has already made 54 appearances for club and country this season but still has the biggest eight days of his already illustrious footballing career ahead of him.
The full-back will be lining up at the Stade de France on Saturday evening for the Champions League Final as he looks to win the competition for a second time with the Reds and gain revenge against Real Madrid for their 2018 defeat.
Then, just four days later, he goes from the biggest game of his club career to the biggest at international level, as he leads Scotland out against Ukraine at Hampden Park for their delayed FIFA World Cup play-off semi final.
Robertson is the epitome of the modern footballer who has both the physical and mental strength to perform at a consistently high level, all while carrying the weight of expectation that comes from being both the captain of his country and a key part in one of the most well put together club sides of the millenium.
If he can dispel the demons from Kyiv and lead his country to their first FIFA World Cup finals since 1998 then, at 28 years of age, he will already have achieved everything that is likely possible and would cement himself as an ‘all-time great’ of both the Anfield club and his nation.
Just look at some of the other legendary figures to grace Anfield and Hampden Park who haven’t been able to achieve such feats.
You have to go back to the glory days of the late 1970s and early 1980s where fellow Scots Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness comprised the spine of Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan’s all conquering Liverpool sides.
Scotland also look back on that time period as a golden era of talented players, even if it never materialised into trophy success.
Decades worth of Scotland fans have now grown up with tales from parents and grandparents who were blessed to see the likes of Dalglish as well as other world class stars like Archie Gemmill and Joe Jordan to name only a couple.
Over the next nine days, Robertson has the chance to achieve something that legends of his club like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher couldn’t - lifting the Champions League twice.
He can then do something that an entire generation of talented internationals like James McFadden, Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown couldn’t - qualify for the World Cup finals.
There’s still a long way to go and the obstacles of Real Madrid, Ukraine and Wales standing in his way, but success over the next nine days will cement his legacy.
Robertson is already widely regarded by many as the best left-back in world football at the moment, and wherever his career goes in the future he already has an enviable collection of winners medals and caps.
He’s a Premier League winner, Champions League winner and captained Scotland at the Euro 2020 finals and that’s enough for him to be considered an icon of both club and country.
However, the next three games could elevate him from ‘icon’ to ‘all-time great’ for both club and country - establishing him as one of the very best to ever wear both the red of Liverpool and dark blue of Scotland.