BILLY Gilmour has described Callum McGregor as the “ultimate professional” on the eve of Scotland’s meeting with Germany in the Euro 2024 curtain raiser and predicted the Celtic captain will bring out the very best in him in the coming days.

Brighton midfielder Gilmour is one of several national team players who ply their trade in the Premier League in England – Ryan Christie (Bournemouth), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Scott McTominay (Manchester United) and Andy Robertson (Liverpool) are the others.

However, the former Rangers kid believes that McGregor, who skippered the Parkhead club to a Premiership and Scottish Cup double last month, is very much his country’s unsung hero and is crucial to their chances of reaching the knockout rounds.

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He is looking forward to forming a central partnership with the man he made his competitive international debut alongside when Scotland drew 0-0 with England at Wembley at Euro 2020 three years ago and knows his compatriot will ensure he performs at a high level.

(Image: PA) “Callum is the ultimate professional,” he said. “The way he goes about his day, his training, his life, he is the ultimate professional. For me he is a great role model. He is always trying to get the best out of you.

“In games I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he does, how he ticks over and is always communicating. For me coming into the squad Callum was obviously the number one midfielder. When you watch him play there are lots of things he does which are really good to watch and help you a lot.”

Gilmour and McGregor will have their work cut out containing Germany in their opening Group A outing in the Allianz Arena tomorrow night – Julian Nagelsmann is able to field Robert Andrich, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos, Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz in midfield.

But the former Chelsea footballer, who picked up a Champions League winners’ medal when the Stamford bridge club beat Manchester City in the final in 2021, feels that Scotland should concentrate of showing what they are capable of in Munich.

Steve Clarke’s men stunned Spain, who had City talisman Rodri playing for them, at Hampden in their second Euro 2024 qualifying match last year by doing that and the Ayrshire-born 23-year-old feels that is the route to go down again.

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“I think that will be the aim for us,” he said. “We know we are strong in games when we play football and we keep the ball. We have done well. When we have it, they can’t score. So it’s probably the best thing for us to do.”

“I have confidence when I go onto the pitch. We must try to believe we are the best players on the pitch and we have to be confident in that way. Of course you are going to be nervous, everyone has nerves before games, I still do.

“But we have to go out there, get a few touches of the ball, get ourselves into the game and then grow into it. After that, you are already there. If you figure it out too late, it has passed. You have to have a little bit of that confidence.

“Kroos is a top player, he has won everything in the game. He has now retired from Real Madrid at the top and he is still unbelievable. So for me, if I do get the opportunity to play against him, I’ll be buzzing.

“You need to work as a team. You can’t just focus on one player. They have top, top players in their team. Musiala is a top player and so are Havertz and Wirtz. So we have to make sure we are really at it and ready to go.”

(Image: PA)