Robertson, Souness, Dalglish: Who is the greatest Scottish player ever?

Andy Robertson

After being denied by a spirited Ukraine side in the World Cup qualifying play-off semi-finals, Scotland won’t be part of this winter’s tournament in Qatar.

However, while their players may not have the chance to write themselves into Tartan Army folklore this time around, the Scots have produced some serious talent over the years.

That ability has translated itself into trophies too, with many of the country’s most fondly remembered players having enjoyed success at European club level.

Recently, the folks over at FourFourTwo took it upon themselves to rank the greatest players to ever represent Scotland and we’ve taken a look at their countdown below.

The 10 greatest footballers ever from Scotland

10. Andy Robertson

The Liverpool left-back led the Scots to their first major competition in 23 years at last summer’s Euro 2020 tournament. He’s also won everything there is to win during his time at Anfield. Further honours are almost inevitable for the only member of this countdown that is still actively playing.

9. Gordon Strachan

Strachan won a variety of trophies at Aberdeen before moving south of the border to achieve further success with Manchester United and Leeds. The pint-sized midfielder also represented Scotland at two World Cups.

8. Dave Mackay

After impressing at Hearts, right midfielder Mackay earned a move to Tottenham, where he made 268 appearances and picked up five major honours. Injuries unfortunately robbed him of bettering his 22 caps for Scotland.

Dave Mackay
Footballer Dave Mackay (1934 – 2015) of Swindon Town F.C., UK, August 1971. (Photo by Ron Moran/Daily Express/Getty Images)

7. Billy Bremner

A fiery midfield dynamo who inspired Leeds United to one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, Bremner also played his part in Scotland’s 1974 World Cup campaign. The Scots never lost a game at that tournament, but were still cruelly eliminated in the group stages on goal difference.

6. Jimmy Johnstone

Said to be one of the most technically gifted players ever to pull on a Scottish jersey, Johnstone was a key member of the Celtic side that triumphed in the 1967 European Cup final. The tricky winger later received Ballon d’Or nominations in 1968 and 1969 – a testament to his incredible talent.

5. Billy McNeill

The captain of the Celtic side which pulled off that 1967 European Cup upset over Inter Milan, McNeill’s name is the stuff of legend around Celtic Park. Few can match his record of 23 trophies and 486 appearances for the club.

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4. Jim Baxter 

Charismatic left midfielder Baxter was the star of the show as Scotland became the first side to defeat England after their 1966 World Cup victory. The Rangers man even tormented the Three Lions by busting out keepy-ups during the 3-2 victory. Sir Alex Ferguson later gushed over Baxter’s performance declaring it to be so good that it “could have been set to music”.

At club level, Baxter won 10 trophies at Ibrox and received a Ballon d’Or nomination in 1965.

3. Graeme Souness

Better known these days for his TV punditry work, Souness was a tough-tackling midfielder in his playing days. A dominant figure for Liverpool in the 1980s, he won three European Cups and went on to feature at a trio of World Cups for Scotland.

Graeme Souness
MEXICO – JUNE 04: Scotland captain Graeme Souness in action during the 1986 FIFA World Cup match against Denmark in Neza, Mexico on June 4, 1986. (Photo by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive)

2. Denis Law

Winner of the 1964 Ballon d’Or award, Law remains Scotland’s joint-top scorer to this day with 30 goals in 52 international outings.

Scorer of 237 goals for Man United during his 11 years at the club, Law has two statues dedicated to him at Old Trafford.

1. Kenny Dalglish

Known throughout the game simply as ‘King Kenny’, Dalglish is a deserved recipient of the top spot here. An icon at both Celtic and Liverpool, the former striker is Scotland’s other joint-highest scorer, as well as being the nation’s most-capped player (102 times).

True footballing royalty!

Kenny Dalglish
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 03: Liverpool player manager Kenny Dalglish celebrates after scoring the winning goal that gives Liverpool the Division One Championship for the 1985/86 season after beating Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on May 3, 1986 in London, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive)

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