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'I worked my b*llocks off to be a Liverpool player!' – Robertson irked by 'fairytale' narrative

15:24 BST 29/05/2019
Andrew Robertson Liverpool Manchester United 240219
The defender says his run to the top hasn't come by luck or magic, but pure hard work

Andy Robertson says he is frustrated by the narrative that his career is a "football fairytale", adding that he, like Liverpool this season, has fully earned all of the success that has come his way with hard work and a few big breaks.

Robertson's journey towards this Saturday's Champions League final against Spurs began with Celtic, where he trained as a schoolboy before being released at age 15.

He worked his way up through Scottish third-division side Queen's Park, working landscaping jobs on the side, before earning a move to top-division side Dundee United.

From there, there was a move to Hull City and, ultimately, Liverpool, where he has become one of the world's top left-backs while helping guide the Reds to back-to-back Champions League finals and to the precipice of Premier League glory.

And none of that has come from luck, he says, but rather hard work.

"Not many things bug me, but if there’s one thing that does, it’s the idea that my story is a football fairytale," Robertson wrote on The Players' Tribune.

"I know when people say I’m some sort of Cinderella Man that it’s meant as a compliment. I appreciate that, but to be totally honest, it doesn’t feel like one, because it isn’t true.

"No magic wands have been waved in my direction, I didn’t win some kind of lottery to land a spot at one of the biggest clubs in the world. The reason why I’m a Liverpool player is the same reason why I’m captain of my country: I’ve worked my b*llocks off to get where I am, and by doing that, I’ve been able to make the most of whatever talent I have."

Robertson stresses that he is not the only Liverpool player with a story to tell, especially in the wake of what many see as a special season.

After falling in last year's Champions League final to Real Madrid, Liverpool fell just short against Manchester City in this year's Premier League title race.

And, down 3-0 to Barcelona following the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, the Reds looked set to finish the season trophyless.

But a stunning 4-0 comeback against Lionel Messi and Co. sealed the Reds' spot in the final, and only showed just how special this Liverpool team can be, Robertson says.

"Take Virgil van Dijk, for example, the best centre-back in the world. How many coaches and scouts looked at him and thought he wasn’t destined for the top? He’ll tell you himself that there were plenty," Robertson says.

"Mo Salah, one of the best finishers in the game today, was once discarded as not being good enough for a top Premier League side.

"Jordan Henderson must have lost count of the times he has had his ability questioned – although never by anyone who has been fortunate enough to work with him – and here he is on the brink of captaining Liverpool in a second successive Champions League final.

"I could go on and on, I really could. If these were all fairy tales, we’d have more than Hans Christian Andersen. They’re not, though. They are all examples of hard work and commitment making the difference.

"The same applies to us as a team and to Liverpool as a club. We are where we are because of our work ethic and our belief that pretty much anything is possible. That’s the reason we were able to come back from 3–0 down against a great Barcelona team. We didn’t wait for fate to play its hand and hope that it would go in our favour, we forced fate to go our way and not even Lionel Messi, the best player I have ever set eyes on, could stop that."

The Reds will take on Spurs on Saturday in Madrid in the Champions League finale as they look to win their first Champions League since the famous 2005 miracle in Istanbul.

It represents another chance at glory for Robertson and Co., and the defender says the entire dressing room knows what's at stake.

"It feels good to have another crack at this final. Nobody deserves it more than our supporters, who have backed us through the good times and the heartbreak. But like us, they will know that we are up against a top side in Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino and his players will be just as determined as we are to do something special in a final like this.

"The thing that matters most is that our fate is in our hands. We know that. And if there’s one thing I can guarantee about this team, about this group of players, it’s that we will stop at nothing to try to make our supporters’ dream come true.

"If that does happen, it won’t be a fairy tale. It’ll be because we deserve it."