Andy Robertson does not have to concern himself with “What ifs?”
Not yet, anyway.
The Scotland captain only stopped being a reigning Champions League winner when Bayern Munich took over possession of the trophy in Lisbon last Sunday.
It left him “merely” as a defending champion of England, having been part of Liverpool’s first title-winning side in 30 years, and the world, after he helped the Reds win the FIFA Club World Cup last December.
Indeed, the 26-year-old Glaswegian is so successful right now, it is left to others back in his homeland to have regrets on his behalf.
The most-notorious example is Celtic, who discarded him at the age of 15 for being too small.
Rangers, equally glaringly and painfully, had him in opposition four times in Division 3 games when Robertson was with Queen’s Park in 2012-13, yet failed to snap him up.
The 19-year-old’s potential was the talk of the division.
But the Ibrox club already had Lee Wallace, who had been Scotland’s first-choice left-back, and were not looking for someone to fill the jersey at that time.
Due to the defection of Barry Douglas to Lech Poznan in Poland, Jackie McNamara’s Dundee United did need a new No. 3, and they overcame rival interest from St Johnstone and Partick Thistle to land Robertson.
It was to turn out to be a seriously-shrewd move.
The Tangerines got 44 appearances and five goals out of him – not to mention a £2.85-million transfer fee when he left for Hull City halfway into his two-year Tannadice deal.
Then they got the bonus of a further £800,000 sell-on fee when Liverpool snapped him up for £8m in 2017.
Yet even for United supporters, the mere mention of Robertson’s name evokes feelings of wistfulness.
Why? Because of the one that got away – the 2014 Scottish Cup.
The Scotland skipper scored twice to help get the campaign off to a flyer with the 5-2 thumping of Kilmarnock.
McNamara’s young side then saw off St Mirren before flattening Inverness CT, their conquerors in the League Cup, 5-0 in the quarter-finals.
It was what happened next that really gave Tangerines fans the belief their team’s name was on the trophy.
They had to travel to Ibrox to play Rangers in the semi, the Govan ground having been picked to stand in for Hampden while it was being re-developed.
Although Ally McCoist’s side were in the process of working their way back through the divisions following the financial meltdown of 2012, playing the showpiece on home soil looked a significant advantage.
That’s not how it turned out, with Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven and Nadir Ciftci all netting to deliver a famous 3-1 victory.
United’s scoresheet that day gives a flavour of why fans feel so hard done by that the team did not win the Scottish Cup for only the third time in the club’s history.
Within two-and-a-half years, all three men would be at Celtic.
Add in Robertson, John Souttar and Ryan Gauld, and the Tannadice club possessed serious talent.
On the day, though, they were second best to St Johnstone in the Final, whose wily boss, Tommy Wright, nullified United’s attacking threat and then watched as two Stevens – Anderson and McLean – scored to deliver the Perth club’s first major trophy.
United’s failure comes to mind now for two reasons.
Firstly, because all the early signs from Tayside this season are that Micky Mellon is doing a good job of building a more-than-decent side.
Well-organised, and with a great balance to the team, they look a decent bet for a run in one or other of the cups – provided they can get Lawrence Shankland fit and playing again, and ward off interest from his potential suitors.
The second, and at least as important, reason is that Robertson has another date with destiny looming large on the horizon.
Not for Friday’s Nations League tie against Israel, and the trip to the Czech Republic three days later, for which he has just been picked.
More the re-scheduled Euro 2020 Play-off Semi-final against the Israelis at Hampden on October 8.
Win, and there will be a Final against either Norway or Serbia, and the dream of Scotland at last getting back to a major Finals will remain alive.
Lose, and Robertson can look forward to the sort of lingering disappointment that United fans – even now – are still handling from 2014.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe