The inclusion of two Champions League winners in Scotland's Euro 2020 squad has boosted the morale of a previously beleaguered football nation. Captain Andy Robertson tipped Billy Gilmour, who took the medal as an unused substitute for Chelsea last Saturday, to savor that success.
The 19-year-old Euro call was his country's first roster in a full squad. After being let off with his family, Gilmour could make his international debut – almost certainly from the bench – when Scotland faces the Netherlands in Portugal on Wednesday evening.
Robertson won the Champions League 2019 with Liverpool and asked if the same experience would change Gilmour's perspective: “It will only change you if you let it change you. I've talked to Billy several times and the little guy seems very hungry to achieve anything he can.
“It's incredible to be able to get the Champions League winner's medal so early, but I'm not doing it. Now he will be hungry for more. It led to success and for me and for all Liverpool youth to go into the next season and win the Premier League.
“When you get that feeling, when you're out celebrating with family and fans, it makes you hungrier, and I'm sure Billy will be the same. He has a great career ahead of him and has started very well. I have no doubt that he will remain humble, starve and continue to achieve much more. ”
Scotland manager Steve Clarke was supported in Porto by Gilmour's role, albeit at the periphery. “I am very happy for Chelsea,” he said. “I spent a long part of my career at Chelsea, so I was delighted to see them win again. But I'm also very happy for Billy. Comfortable and in a good location. ”
For Clarke, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. A positive Covid-19 test returned by John Fleck means the Sheffield United midfielder must be isolated in Scotland-owned Spain. He was at training camp and it was June 14. The rest of the Scotland party gave three negative tests.
“We 99.9 Clarke are confident that she will have John before she arrives in Spain with her incubation period,” he said. Hopefully this is an isolated case. I spoke to John, he is fine and has no symptoms. We will try to spend as much time as possible for him in his room. We're going to put an exercise bike in his room and get him moving.
“We'll look at it, that's all we can do. But we really don't want this to be the big story. The real story is that we're at camp and we've had a great time so far. ”
Frank de Boer, the Netherlands manager, has left Jasper Cillessen out of the Euro squad amid uncertainty about how long it will take for the goalkeeper to recover from the coronavirus. Cillessen tested positive last week. “I find this incredibly upsetting for Jasper, but I had to dive in,” De Boer said. “We don't know how long it will take for the % 99% to be back in shape. I don't want to take risks. ”