Alan McInally has backed Liam Morrison to achieve all his football dreams at Bayern Munich – if he grafts and shuns the delights of Oktoberfest!
Teenage starlet Morrison became only the second Scot to ever sign for the German giants, after taking the bold decision to quit Celtic for the Bundesliga.
The 16-year-old Scotland youth cap put pen to paper with Bayern exactly 30 years after McInally became a tartan trailblazer by leaving Aston Villa for Bavaria.
Rambo’s four-year stint at Bayern between 1989 and 1993 was blighted by injury. But the former Celtic and Scotland striker still managed a creditable 10 goals in 40 Bundesliga appearances, as well as winning one title and twice reaching the semis of the European Cup.
Now the 56-year-old SKY TV pundit is thrilled that another Scot has followed his path to join one of world football’s greatest superpowers. And more pertinently, McInally is impressed Morrison has arrived with a burning desire to become the next Virgil van Dijk.
McInally admitted: “I’m chuffed that Liam has decided to make this move. When I read his story I was genuinely delighted to discover there was another Scot at Bayern.
“It takes guts and I applaud his attitude when he says he wants to be one of the game’s top defenders. That augurs well for his future. He’s clearly a kid with talent and the drive to succeed.
“He’s just 16, whereas I was 26 when I made the move.
“With that in mind, I shouldn’t have to tell him to stay out of Trader Vic’s club at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel and avoid the temptations of Oktoberfest!
“But seriously, he has a fabulous opportunity to become the best he can be at one of the top clubs in the world.
“He will want for nothing and the rest is down to him.
“Liam will need to show confidence from day one. It’s important to learn the language quickly rather than rely on others to speak English.
“He’s young enough, so I’m sure his mind will act like a sponge and he’ll adapt without too many problems.
“If I was to offer any advice, I’d say he shouldn’t go in with all guns blazing and act as if he’s made it. Reading his story, I’m sure he’s not that type of lad.
“But he must have confidence in his own ability and be prepared to get better at the things he’s already good at, as well as working on any weaknesses.
“There will be lads who are bigger, stronger and perhaps better than he is at the moment.
“But Bayern have signed him because they think he can develop into a first-team player. They wouldn’t waste their own, or the kid’s, time if they didn’t have faith in his talent.”
McInally was an established senior pro and Scotland international when Jupp Heynckes snapped him up from Villa in a £1.5-million deal.
And the Ayrshireman knew he had to make an instant impression as he surveyed the scene during his first training session and saw superstars such as Klaus Augenthaler, Stefan Reuter and Jürgen Kohler limbering up.
“I had been at Celtic and Villa, but that first day in Germany blew me away,” confirmed Rambo.
“Sepp Maier was taking the goalie coaching and Gerd Muller was working with the strikers, while Heynckes was in overall charge.
“Mind you, one of my first training sessions at Celtic was taken by Jimmy Johnstone, so you soon learn not to be star-struck.
“Liam joined Bayern at the same time as Philippe Coutinho arrived from Barcelona. If you ever need reminding about what you’re walking into that would do it!
“When Bayern came calling for me in 1989, I was blown away – how can you turn down that opportunity? You can’t.
“It’s like the late Tommy Burns said when Celtic asked him to be manager – you don’t know if you will cope, but you have to give it a go.
“I’m sure Liam was the same, even though he was already doing well at Celtic.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance and you have to grab it.
“Bayern is the club that every other team in Germany want to shoot down. The whole FC Hollywood tag inspires others to raise their game.
“But that will be good for Liam’s development and hopefully for Scotland somewhere down the line.”
And McInally joked: “Following on from me, he has big boots to fill! But I wish the lad all the best.”