Andrew Robertson and his Liverpool team-mates should have been celebrating a first Premier League title by now – instead they’ve been in lockdown with the rest of us.
So how has the left-back been spending his time while waiting for football to return? Just like the rest of us, as it turns out.
He’s had countless Zoom chats, he’s dug a hole in the garden, he’s started to paint the fence and left it in a mess. All reassuringly normal.
To escape domestic deadlock, the Scotland captain joined That Peter Crouch Podcast this week – following on from previous guests including Kasper Schmeichel, Ben Foster and Andre Marriner – to talk all things Jurgen Klopp, disrespecting Lionel Messi and partying until 6am with Kenny Dalglish…
‘It’s disrespectful to the best player who’s ever played the game….’
Robertson picked up an injury during the first half of last season’s incredible comeback win over Barcelona – but still produced one of the highlights when he gave Lionel Messi a little push in the head after an early challenge.
What was that all about?
“I sometimes play as a fan and not as a professional footballer, which is maybe my downfall at times,” Robertson says.
“Me and Fabinho were tracking Messi back and we both ended up on the ground and I just ruffled his hair a bit. He wasn’t too happy and it’s something I wouldn’t do again, that’s for sure!
“It’s disrespectful to the best player who’s ever played the game. That match, I’ve never seen a changing room so pumped up. I don’t know what came over me.
“I do regret it but it’s something everyone always mentions to me. I wasn’t thinking! In the Nou Camp in the first leg I thought I dealt with him as well as I could have but he still walked off with two goals in a 3-0 win and all everyone is talking about is Messi.
“He’s the best player ever to play the game in my opinion. There was a moment when he knocked it by two of our midfielders in the first few minutes at the Nou Camp and he was running directly at me and I was thinking ‘oh right, this guy’s serious’. He’s coming at me now.
“The stuff he does with his feet is just frightening. You can’t see, you need to guess at times to defend against him.”
Come on Kenny, we’ve a plane to catch…
After defeat in the 2018 Champions League final, Robertson and Liverpool beat Tottenham in Madrid last year. So how big was the night out afterwards?
“All of a sudden the lights came on and it was 6am,” Robertson remembers.
“I was talking to Kenny Dalglish, he was getting ushered away by his wife because they had a flight to catch. Me and Adam Lallana stayed up because our wake-up call was half eight so it was pointless going to sleep.
“We had our friends and families there – it was an amazing night. It was a very different feeling to the year before!
“We never had a party in Kiev, just flew straight back and I never got the silver medal out of the drawer until the day after winning in Madrid. That was the first time I looked at it.
“It wasn’t until the Monday night, after the parade, that everything came out. I was really emotional, texting all the players, texting all the staff.”
Whatever we do, we do 100%…
If you’re a football fan then it’s hard not to love Jurgen Klopp – but what is the Liverpool manager really like?
“He says whatever you do, do it 100%. We train 100%, we play 100%, we party 100%. You saw that when he was on the bus during the parade!
“Some managers put on a front for the cameras, but what you see is what you get with him. What you see in press conferences is exactly what he’s like.
“One of his biggest strengths is dealing with people. Some managers treat every player the same and if you don’t like it, tough. But he adapts to different situations, different players.
“He knows the people who need an arm around them, knows those who need tough love. He does everything for you, he’s a father figure and if you let him down you don’t want to look him in the eye.”
‘I ended up on lingerie…’
Robertson may be one of the best full-backs in the world – even if he says team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best – but he didn’t have a typical route into the game.
As a teenager struggling to make the grade at Queen’s Park he had a satisfyingly normal weekend job.
“I was on the checkouts at M&S. My mates got discounts on Percy Pigs so they were delighted.
“That was my start, my first job, I was just trying to get some money as I was turning 18 in the March and nights out started to happen so I needed to get some money in the bank.
“I was still at school, I was working evenings and weekends. I needed some money to get on the plane to Malia with my boys.
“I actually did a couple of shifts on women’s lingerie – they were short on staff and I got flung up there. I didn’t really think about football then. I certainly didn’t think I’d be playing for Liverpool.”