Comment: A tale of two Andys as Murray reached the top and Robertson began his rise to fame

© GettyAndy Robertson make a last-ditch challenge on Ronaldo in last year's Champions League final.
Andy Robertson make a last-ditch challenge on Ronaldo in last year's Champions League final.

We gathered together in the media hut to watch arguably the greatest-ever Scottish sporting achievement.

Among those sitting with me, eyes glued to the TV screen, were Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson and my fellow journalists Tom Duthie, Robert Thomson and Gordon Parks.

The date was Sunday, July 7, 2013 and the focus of all our attention was a tennis star from Dunblane called Andy Murray.

He was playing Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s final and here we were thousands of miles away covering United’s pre-season trip in Berlin.

Our venue was the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei, home to Union Berlin.

As we watched Murray make history on the court, little did we know that just a few yards away from our portakabin there was a star of the future from a different sport with the same first name out on the pitch warming up with his new United teammates.

© Getty
Andy Murray celebrates becoming Wimbledon champion in 2013.

Andy Robertson, a skinny but confident-looking kid just signed from amateur side Queen’s Park, had just been told by Tannadice manager Jackie McNamara that he would be making his debut for the Tangerines against Bundesliga 2 side Union.

Nails bitten and smiles wide, we left the Press room mere minutes before kick-off after being warmly congratulated by German journalists and club officials alike, having seen our Andy become champion. Union even broadcast a message in English over their Tannoy to acclaim Murray, much to the delight of all the Scots in attendance.

Robertson, though, was probably oblivious to what had just happened at SW19.

He was busy preparing for his now familiar left-back role, taking pre-match advice from the coaching staff and senior colleagues.

© SNS
Andy Robertson in his United days.

He was not even the centre of attention that afternoon, as far as the band of United fans who had travelled over to the German capital were concerned. That honour was reserved for a trialist by the name of Nadir Ciftci.

Just a few minutes into the match, though, Robertson looked the part as he outsprinted an opponent and played a pass forward.

United would go on to lose the game 4-1 to their very impressive hosts, with Brian Graham on target for the visitors.

Robertson had done himself proud and had certainly impressed his new boss McNamara, who would go on to make him an integral part of the team that reached the Scottish Cup final and finished fourth in the Premiership at the end of that season.

His time at Tannadice was short but he shone so brightly.

Fast forward a year from that day in Berlin and Robertson had made his full Scotland debut under Gordon Strachan, been voted young player of the year by his fellow professionals and moved to the bright lights of the English Premiership, joining Hull City for £2.85 million.

He has subsequently become an integral part of Liverpool’s best side in decades and been handed the massive honour of captaining his country.

Scotland skipper Andrew Robertson. Pic: PA.

In a sweet coincidence, it was in Berlin where Robertson first wore the famous red jersey, making his debut in a friendly against Hertha on July 29, 2017. That wonderful, welcoming city has been kind to him.

Just like Murray did that magical Sunday afternoon six years ago, Robertson will have Scotland’s full attention as he aims to win the Champions League with Liverpool when they take on Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid on Saturday night.

Most us suffered some of the agony with him last year, when the Anfield men were beaten by Real Madrid in the decider. We also cheered when he slid in to execute his brilliant last-ditch tackle against superstar Ronaldo.

Robertson himself wrote recently that he doesn’t like his career being spoken of as a fairytale, arguing that he has had to work hard for all the success that has come his way.

That is undoubtedly true but it is also correct to say that Robertson’s rise to the very top  of the game is an inspirational tale for all young Scots with a ball at their feet.

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