BILLY GILMOUR has already been enjoying holding the bragging rights over Brighton teammate Ansu Fati from their days facing off as elite youth players, and now he is hoping to rub it in even further by helping Scotland to another shock win over Spain tomorrow night.

Fati – who has recently joined Brighton on loan from Barcelona – was called up to the Spanish national squad as a late replacement for Camp Nou teammate Lamine Yamal this week, and Gilmour is looking forward to seeing him when the Scots travel to Seville.

But that is where the pleasantries will end, and Gilmour is desperate to have another reason to wind up his new mate when they both return to England’s south coast next week.

“I was asking him back at the club if he was going to go to Spain and he wasn’t sure, but I saw he got a late call up so I just text him to say see you soon,” Gilmour said.

“So, that will be nice, but of course I want to go out there and win.

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“We’ve had good conversations. Of course, I am asking him about Barcelona, and when we were younger we played against each other when I was at Chelsea and we played Barca in the semi-finals of the youth Champions League.

“It was me and Tariq Lamptey that were playing for Chelsea, and he was at Barca, so we were winding him up because Ansu scored a double and we won on penalties!

“But no, he’s a really good player, he’s very humble, and you can see that he’s got great talent.

“So far he’s been doing really well for us, and hopefully that can continue.”

Gilmour hasn’t been doing too badly himself, and while he wasn’t involved at the weekend as Brighton drew with Liverpool, the 22-year-old has been enjoying regular action of late under Roberto De Zerbi.

He says his manager at club level has been a huge factor in his impressive form this term, showing the same faith in his abilities that national team head coach Steve Clarke long has.

“When he came in there was a bit if uncertainty with myself, but he’s come in and had his plans and the way he wants to play,” he said.

“The way he wants to play suits my style, it’s very similar, so I was champing at the bit to get my chance that season [when he arrived]. Then, I got my run of games at the end it was mostly about trying to gain his trust.

“This season I’ve come back and played most of the games, and I really feel a big part of it now. So, it is good to be a part of and we are doing something special.

“The manager, the way he goes into the little details with on the pitch stuff and off the pitch too, he’s obviously an incredible manager.”

If Scotland can get any sort of result against Spain they will of course qualify for the European Championships next year, while it was also confirmed by UEFA yesterday that the UK & Ireland will host the tournament in 2028.

That means that Gilmour could potentially be looking forward to representing his country at the Euros on three consecutive occasions, a feat he would dearly love to achieve.

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“I never got the chance to play at Hampden last time, and it will be a lot better this time because it was Covid,” he said.

“So, we’ll have a full stadium, the fans in and proper atmospheres, so I’m looking forward to it and it is good for the nation.

“I’ll be 27 then, so hopefully I’ll still be with Scotland, still getting picked and playing well. I’m looking forward to it.

“That would be great of course, but by then it will be a totally different squad. But we’ve got a lot of younger players coming through.

“Hopefully we can keep progressing and make sure that when these tournaments are coming up that we are always there and competing.

“I’m enjoying it, I love coming away with Scotland. The manager trusts me, all the boys are great, it’s a great place to be. I love coming away.”

Billy Gilmour was speaking in Glasgow to celebrate the next wave of free McDonald’s Fun Football sessions launching this Autumn. McDonald’s Fun Football is the UK’s largest grassroots participation programme for 5-11 year-olds. Find your nearest free session at