Soccer: Scotland's Robertson used to defying expectations

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UEFA Nations League - League B - Group 2 - Scotland v Slovakia
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By Toby Davis

(Reuters) - Scotland would love to upset the odds and reach the later stages of Euro 2020 so who better to lead them into the tournament than captain Andy Robertson, whose career is a perfectly-scripted tale of the determined underdog.

Liverpool left back Robertson has risen to join the very finest in his position with a trophy cabinet that includes the game's biggest club prizes.

A Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup winner, Robertson has played in the biggest club fixtures and shown he truly belongs on those stages.

Yet his career had the humblest of beginnings and there have been bumps along the road as he has moved through the ranks.

Let go at 15 by Celtic, who were looking for physically sturdier boys than the slight-framed Robertson, his footballing dreams appeared to be over before they had got going.

He then embarked on a long and winding road to the top.

Robertson was picked up by Scottish minnows Queens Park and was about to go to university until he broke into the first team. A year later he signed for Dundee United.

The meandering upward trajectory continued when he joined Hull City but in three years of football he suffered two relegations from the Premier League.

His performances in a poor Hull side did not go unnoticed, however, and he joined Liverpool for 8 million pounds ($11.30 million).

Yet he barely got a sniff of first-team action for months before an injury to Alberto Moreno opened the door to a regular starting spot. The rest, as they say, is history.

Robertson not only made the Liverpool left back slot his own, he became one of the team's two most potent creative forces, along with Trent Alexander-Arnold, providing near endless ammunition for a devastating front three.

When Liverpool won the Premier League last season, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold made 12 and 13 assists respectively, the third and second highest behind only Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne. It was a remarkable return for two fullbacks.

Robertson possesses a tireless engine that allows him to attack like a winger but rarely gets caught out at the back.

Former Chelsea and Brazil defender Filipe Luis described Robertson as "the best left back in the world" after Liverpool played his club Flamengo in the Club World Cup final.

Should Scotland defy expectations at Euro 2020, it would add another chapter to the remarkable story of his rise to the top.

($1 = 0.7081 pounds)

(Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)

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