Andrew Robertson sees the World Cup as a massive disappointment after Scotland failed to qualify as the Liverpool star admitted he was bitten by the tournament.
The Scotland captain has revealed that he became close to Real Madrid’s David Alaba when they recently met by chance on holiday, and neither was on duty in Qatar while club mates were vying for glory.
Alaba missed out with Austria after losing to Wales in the first round of the UEFA play-offs, while Scotland followed the same path after losing to Ukraine.
Robertson said hosting the World Cup in recent weeks was “difficult” given his role as captain of his country, and he “didn’t really follow it” at first.
He said he only wishes the best for his Liverpool teammates, who still have a chance to reach the final on 18 December, and has started watching games in the past few days.
“It’s obviously difficult for Scotland,” Robertson added. “We think we should have been there, but we didn’t perform like we did in the playoffs, which from our point of view was disappointing and we have to deal with it.”
At the age of 28, Robertson knows time is limited when it comes to his chances of ever making it to the World Cup.
He has won almost everything that can be won at club level with Liverpool, but success in international football will be difficult. Scotland is ranked 40th in the FIFA rankings, so at the very least they should have a better chance of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup when the tournament is expanded from 32 to 48 teams.
“When I was on holiday I came across David Alaba and he is clearly in a similar boat playing Austria,” Robertson told Liverpool’s official website.
Like Robertson, Alaba is the skipper of his national team. Next time both men will meet in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League between their teams.
“He said he was on the euro pair, but he had never been to the World Cup,” Robertson said. “We were both kind of saying that we got along a bit, so we’re running out of chances to qualify.”
Robertson sees the World Cup as a “massive, massive event” that he wants to experience. Scotland reached the Euro 2020 final but their last World Cup trip was to France 98 when Robertson was four years old.
“The World Cup is what bites me,” said the left-back. “I will definitely make another attempt – maybe two, we’ll see. This is what you want to achieve and what you want to be a part of, and in the future this is definitely my goal.”
Our training camp in Dubai continues pic.twitter.com/LX4xtEEWxi
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 6, 2022
Liverpool’s weak start to the Premier League season means they have reason to catch up when the Reds’ campaign resumes on 26 December with a trip to Aston Villa.
Just six wins in 14 games put Liverpool in sixth place in the table despite coming into the World Cup break at their peak after successive victories over Tottenham and Southampton.
Robertson said: “We can’t waste time, the start of the season was not what we wanted. It’s far from the standards that the fans are used to for us, so it’s important that when we get back, we’ll try to hit the ground running because that’s all we can do.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp received support as winger Luis Diaz returned to training at club camp in Dubai on Tuesday, with the Colombian recovering again from a knee injury.