Liverpool defender and Scotland captain Andy Robertson has revealed his advice for aspiring footballers across the country.
From the Scottish third division to becoming a Champions League winner, the 25-year-old’s path to the top has been nothing short of remarkable.
And as 2019 came to an end, Robertson perfectly captured his 10-year journey by posting a picture of where he was at the start of the 2010s to where he is now.
Ten years ago, the full-back was a 16-year-old was in the youth ranks at Queen’s Park, who at the time played in the fourth tier of Scottish football, after Celtic had released him the year prior.
The Scot would do numerous jobs on the side to supplement his income for a number of years, to which his famous tweet in 2012 read: “Life at this age is rubbish with no money #needajob”
However, he is now playing for a Liverpool side who claimed Champions League and Club World Cup glory in 2019, took 98 points from 37 Premier League games, and are well on course to claiming their first title in 30 years.
And in light of his incredible rise to the top, Robertson has urged aspiring footballers to never give up on their dreams.
In an exclusive interview with talkSPORT ahead of Liverpool’s match against Sheffield Untied, he said: “A lot of kids get released from clubs and fall out of the game. Hopefully people can look at me and realise if they do have a setback they can bounce back from it.
“I believe that ever since I was born I was destined to be a footballer. I’ve always kicked a ball about from a very young age and football was my life. I loved watching it, playing it and for me I was always made for this. It was just about trying to prove it.
“You could never have imagined the way it would turn out but I was determined to become a professional footballer. I managed to do that and once my opportunity came with Dundee United I grabbed it with both hands and just kept trying to improve every single day. That is why I am here and now I that am here I want to look forward.
“This year we have gathered a couple of medals but now we want more and we are hungry for more success and that is what the next decade will hopefully bring.”
Robertson also spoke of the influence that Jurgen Klopp has had on himself and the rest of the Liverpool squad, revealing why the German is ‘more than a manager’ to the players.
“He’s like the father figure of Melwood,” he said.
“To us he is more than a manager. Of course he sets up the team and gives the tactics. Players who aren’t playing wont be happy at times and that is natural but the way he comes across and explains it – it makes it that bit easier.
“If you ever need anything he is there for you. That is why we all look up to him like a father figure. We’re away from our families a lot and he’s the one who drives us all forward and that is so important to have.
“I’ve been lucky to have some great managers on my way up, but for me he is the tip of it.
“He has the whole package and that’s why he is such a successful manager.”
Liverpool are 13 points ahead of second-placed Leicester and have remarkably taken 55 of the 57 points available at the halfway stage this season.
However, Robertson has insisted the Reds are simply focusing on on a game-to-game basis and are not thinking about the title.
“We’re happy with the position we are in just now,” he continued. “I’m sure Liverpool fans would love us to come out and say, ‘get your party hats on’ and all that, but for us we have still got half a season to go.
“We have to go into every game believing we can win it, and if we do that, we will win the league.
“But we know it’s not as easy as that and as each game passes every team will want to beat us more.
“Everyone wants to beat us that wee bit more. Everyone wants be the first team to beat us this season, everyone wants to be the ones which stops Liverpool winning the league.
“That is the stuff that we we face and it is stuff that so far we have dealt with very well but for us it’s far too long for us to think about being crowned champions.”
Having gone half the season without defeat, could Liverpool end the campaign unbeaten and match Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003-04?
Robertson responded to that question: “We have the mentality of going into every game of not losing. We want to win every game.
“The teams you play, the games you play, the intensity they are all played at, it is so hard to go through a whole season unbeaten.
“We know every challenge is so hard. We are not thinking about that, we are just thinking about getting the next three points and moving on from that.”
LIVE on talkSPORT
The festive feast of football continues over the next week – find out what is LIVE across the talkSPORT network, below…
- Brighton vs Chelsea (Wednesday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Burnley vs Aston Villa (Wednesday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Southampton vs Tottenham (Wednesday, 3pm) – talkSPORT
- Newcastle vs Leicester (Wednesday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Watford vs Wolves (Wednesday, 3pm) – talkSPORT app
- Man City vs Everton (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- West Ham vs Bournemouth (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Norwich vs Crystal Palace (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT app
- Arsenal vs Man United (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Derby vs Barnsley (Thursday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Liverpool vs Sheffield United (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
Liverpool host Sheffield United at 8pm on Wednesday evening and you can follow the match live on talkSPORT. We’ll also bring you commentary of all NINE Premier League games on New Year’s Day.