Gordon Strachan has predicted the Scottish people will make the Commonwealth Games a success – just as the Brazilian public contributed to a successful World Cup.
The Scotland football manager spent several weeks in Brazil as a television pundit and he believes his own country is about to experience something similar.
Strachan carried the Commonwealth Games relay baton around a revamped Hampden yesterday and used his Brazil insight to let Scots know what to expect when Glasgow 2014 kicks off today.
“It wasn’t so much the football, it was the excitement it generated,” the former Manchester United player said.
“Brazil was a place I had never been to and everyone who went out there thought the Brazilian people made the event. They joined in, they were welcoming, they were humorous, they were good fun.I’m sure you are going to get the same here.
“The weather’s going to get good as well, so everything points to good fun. And when tourists get here, they should get themselves about Scotland, not just Glasgow and Edinburgh. There is wonderful scenery elsewhere in the country.
“It’s great that people can come here and see Scotland at its best.”
Strachan hopes the sporting action provides a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland.
“I think it’s a chance for Scotland to grab a hold of sport and use it as a tool to help us,” the former Celtic manager said.
“I think everybody can play a sport, it’s finding what sport you are good at. No matter what shape, size, height, there’s a sport there for you. What we need to do as a country is give children the opportunity to find that sport.
“When asking politicians to do anything, I always say ‘do something about the sport because it can help your country no end’.”
The baton, which contains a message from the Queen, has travelled throughout Scotland carried by thousands of baton-bearers including famous faces, charity workers and community volunteers. Its final destination is tonight’s opening ceremony at Celtic Park.