Steve Clarke urges Scotland to create history by defeating Spain

Steve Clarke urges Scotland to channel the spirit of 1984 and create their own history by defeating Spain when they take on the former world champions in Euro qualifier on Tuesday night

  • Scotland last beat Spain back in 1984 when they secured a 3-1 victory
  • Clarke’s side began their Euro qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win over Cyprus
  • Spain are under new management with Luis de la Fuente leading the side 

Steve Clarke has urged Scotland to snatch a win over Spain that will live on in Tartan Army folklore.

The national team’s last victory over the former world champions was an epic 3-1 triumph in a World Cup qualifier in November 1984.

Clarke played for Scotland’s Under-21s team in a 2-0 defeat at Dens Park the night before, attending the senior international with his father as a spectator.

A stunning goal from Kenny Dalglish was the highlight of one of the signature results of Jock Stein’s reign. And the current Scots boss now wants his players to follow a 3-0 win over Cyprus in the opening game of their Euro 2024 qualifying group by creating another precious Hampden memory.

‘We were just talking about the game back in 1984,’ said Clarke. ‘You speak about games like that forever.

Steve Clarke has challenged his Scotland side to make history by beating Spain on Tuesday

The Scots are going into the game off a 3-0 win over Cyprus in their opening qualifying game

Clarke recalled the time Kenny Dalglish (left) scored against Spain in a 3-1 win in 1984

‘I think I was here that night. Kenny’s goal, coming in and curling it. Nice…

‘The big net at Hampden, the big stanchion going all the way back. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be, but I’m pretty sure I was there with my dad. It was a good night.’

The nations have met five times since 1984, with three Scotland defeats and two draws.

Spain’s last visit to Glasgow was a 3-2 win in a European Championship qualifier in October 2010.

‘I’ve got a coach in there, Naisy (Steven Naismith), who scored a goal against Spain with a diving header,’ added Clarke.

‘But we don’t remember because we lost 3-2. Nobody remembers it, so Naisy is devastated by that…

‘Hopefully, we can be talking about someone in 20 years’ time, about what they did against Spain in this particular game.’

Current Scotland coach Steven Naismith scored as Scotland lost 3-2 to Spain back in 2010

Despite evident improvement under Clarke, Scotland start Tuesday’s home game in Glasgow as underdogs.

After a disappointing World Cup campaign in Qatar, Spain appointed a new coach in Luis de la Fuente.

And, like Scotland, they claimed a 3-0 win in their opening game against Norway thanks to two quickfire late goals from substitute Joselu.

‘We have spent the last couple of days talking about positive mentality going into the game,’ added Clarke.

‘If you don’t believe you can get anything then you don’t get anything. So we have to believe we can get something from the game.

New Spain coach Luis de la Fuente has been tasked with lifting the nation after a disappointing World Cup

They won their first qualifying game 3-0 against Norway, with Joselu scoring twice

‘I have carried that mentality right through my career. I’ve had a few thumpings, mind…’

The loss of Che Adams to injury will prompt a start up front for Lyndon Dykes. Clarke also faces a selection dilemma in midfield after Manchester United Scott McTominay scored two goals as a second-half replacement for Ryan Jack.

Pleased by the strength in his squad, the Scotland boss believes his players have nothing to fear.

Lyndon Dykes (right) is set to start up front a Hampden Park after an injury to Che Adams

‘We have players who have played Champions League and Europa League football,’ he said. ‘Some play in the English Premier League against top-quality opposition every week. So the majority of the team — in fact, the majority of the squad at this minute — are used to this level of opposition.

‘Therefore, we shouldn’t be going in with a feeling of being the underdog.

‘I know we love that. The Scottish mentality is that we love being the underdog. But I think we can be competitive against Spain at Hampden.’

The Scots have won their last four competitive internationals at Hampden and Clarke rates that a record worthy of respect from the visitors. ‘I would like to think that what we’ve done over the last couple of years in international football will get us the respect of any team coming to Hampden,’ he said.

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