Ryan Christie couldn’t control the tears, Andy Robertson fought them off and even Steve Clarke admitted he’d have a cry.
Scotland reached a major tournament for the first time since 1998 and the players enjoyed every moment of it in Belgrade.
Scotland made everyone watching back home proud and Andy Robertson hoped fans were able to party
Clarke’s side beat Serbia on penalties to reach Euro 2020 and will join England in Group D at next summer’s European Championship, which was confirmed when David Marshall saved Aleksandar Mitrovic’s decisive spot-kick.
Scotland had dominated the majority of the 90 minutes and led through Christie before Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic headed in a last-minute equaliser.
“It’s just an amazing night. From the start, we believed,” Christie told Sky Sports, welling up with tears from the start.
“Even the way the game went tonight, conceding that late equaliser, we dug in.
Christie was overwhelmed by the victory
“Penalties away from home and big Marsh comes up! Amazing, unbelievable.”
The 35-year-old Marshall has been through the heartache and is one of the members of Clarke’s squad who remembers watching Scotland on the big stage, with France ’98 being the last time they graced the international scene.
“Obviously I am a certain age now that I can remember old tournaments. It’s been so long and it’s just massively emotional.
“I am just delighted to be there. It has probably not sunk in. You probably saw Ryan Christie was in tears and it just shows how much it means to the lads to get there.
David Marshall was Scotland’s hero in the penalty shootoutAFP or licensors
Scotland’s players enjoyed the moment as they secured a place at Euro 2020Scotland National Team
“Obviously families are willing us on, fans who can’t be here. Hopefully by next summer everybody can get the chance to go.”
Marshall did not immediately enjoy his penalty stop as he was wary of celebrating too soon in case he was penalised for encroaching.
“Immediately after it was a delay because the ref had said don’t celebrate if you save because there’s a VAR check,” he said. “I got the decision before the lads jumped on me thankfully.
“I just hoped and prayed that he wouldn’t order a retake because the lads were on their way They didn’t know it was being checked.
Scott McTominay was one of the successful penalty takersGetty Images – Getty
Scotland’s players enjoyed the moment as they secured a place at Euro 2020
“But I did feel it was good. I had a tiny bit of doubt but the referee let us know pretty quickly.
“But when you have waited 22 years, what’s another four or five seconds?”
Robertson said he hopes fans partied at home.
“What a night, so hard to explain, tears everywhere and these lads deserved it. I’m just a boy who gets to walk out in front of them. We’ll look forward to the summer now.”
The Liverpool defender hopes fans will be in attendance at next year’s rescheduled tournament.
“I’ll say every sort of prayer I have to have a full Hampden.
“We’ve done it,” the captain added. “Twenty three years… I don’t even want to think about it because I’ll probably cry, but we’re looking forward to the summer now and everything builds up to that.”
Robbo’s ‘Cheeky Vimto’
In a moving extract from his book, the skipper explained what success with Scotland means to his family
“The Scotland team has always been very important to my family as a whole, none more so than my auntie, Vera Murchie, who passed away at Christmas in 2013.
“The only times I have worn personalised boots – the play-off final with Hull, the Champions League final in Madrid and an international against Cyprus that I scored in – it has been in her memory.
“I have her date of birth, 27.05.56, on one boot and ‘Cheeky V’ on the other.
“A Cheeky Vimto was her favourite drink at family parties, she used to mix her own, and it’s something that I remember her by.
When my mum, dad and Auntie Vera were growing up, Scotland qualified for every tournament, it was like Liverpool winning the league, and now it’s been far too long.
“This team has the potential to right that wrong.
“Our individual quality is there for all to see but now we have to show it as a team and deliver as a team.
“I have confidence that we will only get stronger and the sooner the better.
“Having just ended a 30-year wait with Liverpool, I now want to end a 22-year wait with Scotland.
“If that happens, I’ll be having a Cheeky Vimto in memory of my Auntie Vera.”
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The raw emotion from players shows you how much it means, according to the manager.
“When David Marshall saved [the penalty] I had a little glint in my eye,” Clarke admitted. “But I managed to keep my emotions in check – I might have a little cry later on when I get to my room.”
And at Euro 2020 rivalries will be renewed with the game on 18 June at Wembley almost 25 years to the day since their previous international clash on the big stage.
The teams were last in the same group at Euro 96 – also at Wembley – which was memorable for Gary McAllister’s penalty miss and Paul Gascoigne’s wonder goal.
They meet again
England Scotland #EURO2020 | @England | @ScotlandNT pic.twitter.com/W27AqqxXPg
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) November 12, 2020
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