I first fell in love with football at Spain when I followed Scotland to the 1982 World Cup. During the 1990s I often travelled to the great clubs of La Liga to report on and interview Sir Bobby Robson, Fabio Capello, Johan Cruyff, Louis Van Gaal, Raddy Antic, Ronaldo and Ivan de la Peña amongst others.
I moved to Spain in 2002 and it has been my good fortune to report on the country’s all-time golden age of football. Not just recently – with Barcelona’s brand of football being the prevalent European force between 2005-2013 and Spain winning three straight major tournaments – but during the excellence of the Euro-Depor era when Deportivo La Coruña won the title the Copa del Rey and reached the Champions League semi final, while Valencia won two La Liga titles and now as Atlético have become Spanish champions for the first time since 1996.
Relationships between the leading football figures and the media in Spain have remained more respect-based, more constructive than in many parts of the UK and my years spent in La Liga have fostered relationships which saw me interview both Xavi and Gerard Piqué in the Wembley dressing room with the Champions League trophy following the celebrations of their historic 2011 victory over Manchester United.
I was also allowed to report and film inside Spain’s World Cup winning dressing room in Soccer City 2010 plus the Euro 2012-winning dressing room in Kiev.
Some of my favourite interviews have been with Leo Messi, Cruyff, Iker Casillas, Xavi, Pep Guardiola, Steve McManaman, Frank Lampard, Stevie Gerrard, Ronaldinho, Sergio Ramos, Andrés Iniesta, Marcello Lippi, Vicente del Bosque, Luis Aragonés, Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Jean Marc Bosman.
I write, or have written, and report for amongst many others: Sky Sports Spanish Football, the Scottish Mail on Sunday, ESPN, BBC Radio, Talksport, Newstalk, the Melbourne Age, Sixty Minutes, the Sunday Herald, Uefa.com, FIFA TV, the Evening Express, PlayUp.com, EightByEight (US), FourFourTwo Magazine and the PaddyPower website
I keep my affiliation to Aberdeen FC (the Mighty Dandies) pretty low key, often not mentioning it for spells as long as 10 or 12 minutes.
It has been a life lived to a soundtrack of the Clash, Paul Weller, Primal Scream, Dean Martin, the Stone Roses, the Beatles and the Stones.