They were kids who grew up together at Dundee United and continue to rub shoulders on Scotland duty.
John Souttar was so chuffed for Scotland skipper Andy Robertson becoming a Champions League winner that he took time out from Jack Hamilton’s wedding to watch Liverpool beat Tottenham on Saturday night.
Robertson’s tale of rejection to redemption is well-known; rejected by Celtic, playing part-time for Queen’s Park to now winning Europe’s biggest prize and captaining his country.
Souttar said: “I’m sure Andy’s phone will be pretty busy. It’s an incredible achievement to win the Champions League, considering where he’s come from. We’re running out of words to describe it.“It’s just sort of to be expected from Andy now, isn’t it? He was in the Champions League final last year, so it hardly comes out of the blue. He’s worked so hard, right back to his days at United – and he’s kept doing that. He deserves every reward he gets. Everyone takes their own path in football.
“He obviously started out on a very hard path and worked hard, kept his head down, didn’t complain, stayed positive. He’s obviously had a brilliant family behind him, too, and now he’s won the biggest prize in club football. That’s down to him and down to his family, as well. They are amazing people. His mum and dad are really superb people – and I know he says that often.”
A picture surfaced on Twitter earlier this week of Souttar and Robertson, along with Ryan Gauld and Joe McGovern, at Dundee’s Riverside Park, having a kickabout.
Souttar added: “I think that sums up his attitude. We were really young and we just used to play football all the time. We used to go down the local park and play with the boys from our digs on a day off, play 4 v 4 and just enjoy it.
“That’s just what he’s like, he loves the game, is so down to earth, works hard and takes everything in his stride.”
Both will be sure-fire starters for Saturday’s European Championship qualifier against Cyprus at Hampden, the first time Souttar will have returned there since Hearts’ Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic.
He said: “It was a really tough one to take. We played so well for long periods but for one reason or another it wasn’t meant to be.
“I haven’t really thought about going back. It’s two different teams. If you get the chance to play at Hampden, it’s a brilliant honour.”