VINCENT Kompany has followed Andy Robertson since his Dundee United days – and even signed him for his Football Manager team.
In the build up to Friday night’s defeat by Belgium, new Scotland skipper Robertson reminisced that, when the countries met five years ago, he was a Queen’s Park youth player working at the game to earn spending money – and had to fetch Kompany his programme as part of his duties.
It might have been an incidental meeting, but it is one that is also recalled with pleasure by the Manchester City star.
“Funnily enough, I do remember meeting him here a few years ago, so it is nice to see him doing so well now,” Kompany said.
“It is something a few people have mentioned over the years. I don’t know why but I just remembered.
“Sometimes when you see people you remember their face and you remember the moment.
“Most of us in football have come from humble backgrounds.
“Whatever way you get there it is always good when someone makes it.
“Andy is now playing to such a high level with Liverpool and now he is captain of his country.
“He has come a long way in a short space of time.
“I actually knew of him when he was playing in Scotland even before he joined Hull City.
“I play Football Manager so I was well aware of him.
“I actually signed him back then because good left backs are very hard to come by!
“I took a gamble on him, but it paid off.”
Robertson famously ended up at Queen’s Park after being rejected by Celtic for being “too small”.
And while it is a problem which Kompany, a colossus for club and country, never encountered himself, he is no doubt the younger man’s career comeback makes him an ideal role model for young players everywhere.
“I do think he is a great example,” said the Belgian.
“If you look at every single club you will find a lot of young lads coming through who used to be ball boys.
“If you are in the world of football then there is a chance for you to do well.
“If you have workrate and desire and ability, like he does, then it is not so much of a surprise. “
Kompany, meanwhile, had some words of consolation for Shaun Maloney, who in his new role as an assistant coach to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez was left with mixed emotions by Belgium’s 4-0 win – Scotland’s heaviest defeat at home for 45 years.
“Shaun has come in and not really shown that this game was more special than any other, but I could tell it was,” Kompany added.
“It was a good start for him. He was on the right side today.
“It was a satisfying night for us. We have some new players and it was good for them to adapt to our system.
“It was a good game in nice conditions and on a very good pitch.”