Andrew Robertson on Trent Alexander-Arnold, Being the Modern Full-Back & Euro 2020

Exclusive - "I remember my first Scotland game, it was the big one for me," Andy Robertson says excitedly as he reminisces about the first time his kit and equipment were laid out for him - making his senior international debut days before his 20th birthday.

"At Dundee United we had small changing rooms so the kit was always folded. But I remember on my Scotland debut, it was hung up - I think I was number 13.

"Everything was perfectly laid out and I thought 'ok, this is the big deal now'."

Robertson worked at Hampden Park as a ticket seller in his youth, unbeknown that he would be the captain of his country there a decade or so later - as he detailed in part one of an exclusive interview with 90min as part of the forthcoming Copyright This series.

This kind of storybook tale hasn't been lost on the 25-year-old, who is grateful to now be one of the faces of Nike.

"I remember my first pair of boots were a pair of tiny Nike Tiempo ones, and I've always worn Nike through my whole career," he said. "You don't really think about it as a kid that you'll be the face of Nike, or the face of a brand.

"You just think 'I want to be a professional footballer', but then when it really starts to build you think 'do you know what? I like wearing Nike boots, I like wearing Nike clothes' and you think 'do you know what, why not?'"

​​Robertson's progress has come almost in tandem with that of fellow Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the pair playing a key role in Liverpool's success over the last two years.

The 21-year-old England international bettered Robertson in total assists last season - breaking a Premier League record for a defender with 13 - and Robertson opened up on the friendly rivalry between the two. He was quick to concede that his teammate was the better crosser.

"Oh, I'll have to go him!" he said. "Especially from dead balls. He's mastered them. The gaffer's getting me to work on the dead ball situation, but it's not quite working yet.

"I always say I'm a bit messier with my technique than him - I think he looks a bit like [David] Beckham. He's a fantastic player and, you know, I think both of us are doing really well at the minute.

Andrew Robertson,Trent Alexander-Arnold

"Trent started it [their friendly rivalry] last season, for us it's healthy because of the numbers - obviously Trent broke the record for defenders and assists, which took me a couple of months to get over [laughs] - but we believe it brings the best out in us.

"We don't use it in a negative way, it's a positive and it drives us forward. We want to produce for the team and we want to help assist. We want to help create goals, but also we know our job defending.

"Obviously we've not kept as many clean sheets [in the early part of the season] and Virgil [van Dijk] has been on at us. But look, he's a fantastic player. If he's not already the best right back in the world then he'll go on to be - he's only 21 and he's got the years on me."

Robertson went on to admit that it feels as though the role of the modern full-back has changed, and hoped the exploits of the pair have made the position more important.

"Because of what we've done, I think a lot of people look at the position more - especially people who follow Liverpool," he explains. "If I look at full-backs who are playing now, the two Leicester full backs [Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell] have changed, the way they're both very attacking. Chilwell's been excellent for two years now.

Andy Robertson,Ricardo Pereira

"Full-backs have moved for big money in the last couple of years, and that shows you their importance in big teams. So maybe one day somebody will say 'you know, I wanted to be a full-back' - but we'll wait and see.

"When I was younger it was very much that the back four stayed at the halfway line. They defended and let the other six do their job. But now we have sitting midfielders and full-backs that are full of energy, wanting to get forward as much as defend.

"The full-back role has definitely changed over the last 10 years. Ashley Cole and Philipp Lahm changed the dynamic of full-backs - we've just kinda carried it on."

Despite being one of the best left-backs in the world - there's a strong case based on performances and club success that Robertson tops the list at the moment - the 25-year-old actually started his career as a forward.

"I was a striker when I when I joined Celtic. I went into central midfield and played there until I was released, but played left midfield for Queens Park before moving to left-back.

"I never liked playing on the left of midfield. I always liked coming on to the game - that's why I feel as if I'm there coming from attacking positions from left-back. I remember telling my Under-16 coach at Queens Park and he didn't quite agree at the time, but I'm sure now he'll look back on it and think maybe I was right."

Robertson's rise to become a household name on British shores has been remarkable, but his work ethic has always been part of who he is and how he plays. Jose Mourinho waxed lyrical about him last season after Manchester United's 3-1 defeat at Anfield, saying that he became tired just watching the Scot motor about the pitch.

"I remember the game [against Manchester United] - they gave me a lot of space to be fair and I just...I was actually getting a bit annoyed because I kept on having to take the 40 yard sprints on!

"I've always been quite fit. In school, I was always cross country racing, I was that kid who could run the distance. Nowadays, I try and play every game as if it's my last, as such. We get paid to play football and if I can't give 100% energy and commitment then my crosses won't be as good, my touch won't be as good, my passing won't be as good - but it won't stop me from running."

While at club level the results speak for themselves, Robertson must now show he is up to the task of being a worthy Scotland captain. He is now dreaming of leading his proud nation to their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France - but they must navigate the playoffs first in order to reach Euro 2020.

They face a semi-final showdown with Israel in March - a challenge that Robertson is relishing.

Andy Robertson

"A lot will be made about it," he said. "I don't think anyone hides away from the fact that Scotland's been a tough topic for me and for everyone for the last two years, but it's something that we want to do, we want to get to the Euros, we want to get back to major tournaments. It's been since 1998, it's been far too long. That's a full generation.

"I remember it vividly, very vividly, Scotland being at a major tournament. And since then it's not happened. So we're all so determined to get there but we know there's a tough task ahead of us.

"Israel are no easy team; we played them in the Nations League and got beat once and won once, and then if we do get through then it's a tough away tie. But we'll have a whole country behind us, we'll have everything behind us and hopefully we can do the job and be in England's group - and I'm sure that'll be a good game in the Euros."

While Robertson will have to wait until March to get back into the thick of international action, domestic football is heating up as Liverpool go in search of their first Premier League title, and he admits that coming so close last season still hurts.

Andrew Robertson

"It's always tough to talk about the Premier League. Last season, if I'd done interviews every month I'd have said 'we're in a great spot' and I'd have been delighted. And then to see Man City get 98 points and snatch it off you was tough to take. But this season everything is going well just now.

"But it's all about us keeping our levels high. If we do it, and I believe we can do it, but we know we've still got a lot of tough games to go and everyone will want to beat us. That's what we have to carry with us and luckily we've done it, so far, so good."

With a whole lot of motivation behind him, Robertson is eyeing success on three fronts with club and country from now until the summer.

"For me, winning the Premier League is the massive one, hopefully go far in the Champions League again - we've been to two finals, why not make it three?

"For me, the big one is the Premier League but to also get to the Euros with Scotland - that'd be incredible and something that's not been done in a very long time. It's something that - obviously me being captain - I carry that burden with me, and it's something that I want to change, and hopefully I can do it."

Andy Robertson is wearing Nike Next-Gen Vaporknit & Phantom Venom boots. Available at

​Part one is also available on

Source : 90min