The morning after the night before and Andy Robertson posted an Instagram snap of himself and former Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, captioned: “Made in Scotland”.
The night before, the millions watching as Liverpool overcame Tottenham Hotspur to win the Champions League saw Saltires draped behind both goals, while jubilant Anfield manager Jurgen Klopp was pictured with his star full-back parading the St Andrew’s Cross around the Metropolitano Stadium during post-match celebrations.
It was clear that the Scotland captain is proud of his country and when he joined up with his international colleagues this weekend, he was reminded that the feeling is mutual.
Delayed by a party in Spain and the small matter of an open-top bus parade in front of hundreds of thousands of Liverpool fans when they returned to Merseyside, when Roberston did join the group on Tuesday he was treated to another moment he won’t forget.
“I walked in just as dinner was starting. They all clapped me in, which was nice, and you could tell they were all genuinely delighted for me. It was a nice feeling.
“If it gives them a good feeling as well, then that’s nice. For all the staff and players to clap you in, it doesn’t take something like that for you to know you have done something good but it was an added thing and, maybe, just as I was having a small comedown from the weekend I’d had, that sort of picked me back up again.
“I’m not a person who wants to be the centre of attention or anything like that. But it was nice from all the lads and the staff. I appreciated it, but I couldn’t wait to just sit down and have my dinner. I definitely didn’t lap it up. I was just trying to find a spare seat as quickly as I could!”
Still humble and always a team player, albeit one who can take a game by the scruff of the neck and turn in some remarkable individual performances, the Champions League success was a special night for the 25-year-old but he says the pleasure was in sharing the experience with those dearest to him.
“It was a very emotional couple of days after the game and one of happiness, spending time with the people closest to me,” explained the man Liverpool fans hail as one of their best-ever buys, a snip at just £8 million, and the player who was voted into the PFA Team of the Year by his peers.
“The special moment is getting your hands on the trophy and that will never leave any of us, the moment when you see that iconic trophy and seeing the skipper lifting it was emotional. But when we came down into the city centre and there were thousands there it was incredible and you see they appreciate everything we do, it was a special moment.
“All our families were up above and you see them and that was emotional for all of us. We’ll never forget that.
“The support I got was incredible and the people who went out to Madrid and watching at home was special. I’ll always remember that and I know the people who have been there to support me throughout it all.”
Amidst it all, in another social media post, he described himself as “just a wee guy from Glasgow living the absolute dream”. The picture accompanying those words was one of him holding aloft the iconic silverware.
It is something few Scots have had the pleasure of doing. That thought occurred to him, he says, as the magnitude of the moment sunk in. “It is very rare. That is what you start to realise. Maybe more so this year than last year. A lot has been said up in Scotland because of Billy McNeill’s passing. He was the person who lifted it for the first time [for a British club] and, being Scottish, it has been an emotional time for people up here to see him go, and [fellow Lisbon Lion] Stevie Chalmers as well. That was in the back of my mind, when I thought about getting the chance to get my hands on that trophy,” added the former Celtic youth player.
“The picture of Billy is so iconic, obviously the image is now outside Parkhead. My picture won’t go as big as his, but it was still a special moment to get my hands on the trophy he lifted.”
As well as growing up a Celtic fan and donning the hoops as a promising youth player, Robertson attended the same school as members of Cesar’s family and he says he did meet the man himself.
“I came across him a couple of times. I went to school with his grandkids, although I didn’t know them particularly well. We all obviously knew that Billy McNeill’s grandson and granddaughters went to our school because he was from the same part. I didn’t know him but what he did was incredible.”
An unlikely hero, given the now well-known tale of his circuitous route to the top, suffering an early setback at Celtic before regrouping and starting again at Queens Park, arriving at Liverpool via Dundee United and Hull City. But hard work and a level head saw him become one of the most highly-rated left-backs in the world. And it is now, on the world stage, that he wants to prove himself all over again, hopefully taking the national team with him.
The statistics show 29 caps and two goals but that only hints at Robertson’s overall contribution as he seeks to rebuild national pride and captain the team to a major finals.
“If I look to my left and my right in the squad I believe we have got enough, but we haven’t shown it. That’s what we need to do.
“I don’t feel under any more pressure than the other lads. We are all desperate to get Scotland back to major tournaments and that’s a pressure we all have to deal with.”