Leeds United pair to put friendship aside when England and Scotland renew rivalries
Thorp Arch friendships will be put on hold when Leeds United captain Liam Cooper and Scotland take on his Whites team-mate Kalvin Phillips and England.
The Tartan Army travel south to renew rivalries with the Three Lions this evening at Wembley in Group D of the European Championships.
England toppled Croatia in the capital last weekend while Scotland were beaten by the Czech Republic at Hampden Park on Monday.
The Whites have interest in both camps for the highly-anticipated meeting between two auld enemies.
Cooper featured for Scotland on the opening matchday and Kalvin Phillips put in a man-of-the-match performance for England.
The two are good friends having spent years together at Elland Road, helping Marcelo Bielsa's men to promotion to the Premier League before establishing the club as a top flight force.
They may well find themselves pitted against one another should they be selected once again for their respective nations.
“Kalvin knows what I think of him," Cooper said of his club teammate ahead of tonight's meeting.
"He’s a great lad and I love him to pieces. I’ve seen his career go from being a young kid to an established player in the England team.
“It’s pure business now. All that goes out the window once you’re on the pitch. Kalvin is the same – he wears his heart on his sleeve, same as I do.”
Cooper has had a whirlwind 12 months after becoming a Premier League player last summer and earning a spot at the Euros this.
“I’ve had an unbelievable year," he added.
"I’m probably the first person to get promoted from the Championship, play in the Premier League and play in the Euros all in a pandemic.
“It’s mental. The send-off from my old man – he just said ‘go and enjoy yourself, I’m so proud of you’."
The Whites skipper has also impressed in training while away on international duty for the delayed tournament.
"I've got a lot of time for Coops," Scotland captain Andy Robertson said.
"I think when he tries to play Bielsa-ball in training we all struggle sometimes when he's up front and defending!"