IMAGINE you run a football team, let's say it's a university side. The usual motley crew are there but, one day, a 6ft 1ins Scandinavian approaches you and tells you he would like to play; then he tells you he has won underage caps for his country and he certainly looks the part: a physically imposing he-man possibly hewn from volcanic rock.

You've got a game that night and immediately he offers himself up for selection. Five minutes into his debut, you realise he's good, actually he's not just good, he's the best player you have ever seen.

This is how Filippo Antoniazzi describes the first time he met Odmar Faero or 'Oddy' – as he refers to him affectionately – at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University (RGU) in 2011. Over the next couple of years, the young business studies student would become a regular feature of his teams. Faero – then on loan at Highland League Keith from B36 Torshavn – would play for Antoniazzi's team on a Wednesday, his club side on a Saturday, then – having been promoted from his national under-21 side – take off on international weeks to play in whichever corner of Europe the Faroe Islands were scheduled for a fixture.

“He'd be marking Zlatan or Mesut Ozil and then the next week he would turn up and play against whoever we were playing, I don't know Abertay University, or whoever,” says Antoniazzi, the director of sport at RGU. “He didn't mind. He didn't dominate the team talks, just mucked in – and as a leader as well. He was just a team-mate, he wasn't a big-time Charlie.”

“That was the joy of it for all our lot: he was the best player they ever played with. All the boys have got stories, and are in WhatsApp groups and there will be messages saying 'Oddy's starting' or 'he's got 60 minutes again' – whatever it is. There is still that enthusiasm to follow his story.”

The RGU old boys WhatsApp group will have been particularly busy of late. Yesterday Faero – whose father Oddmar (correct) was also a Faroese international – was part of the Faroe Islands squad that hosted Austria while last month he was in the rearguard action that kept runaway group F leaders Denmark at bay for 85 minutes before succumbing to a Jonas Wind goal in Torshavn's compact Torsvollur Stadium. On Tuesday night Faero, who spent his youth growing up in Aberdeen courtesy of his father's dental practice in the city, is poised to line up against Scotland at the same venue.

It's a career route that borders on the incredible and the unconventional nature of it is accentuated by Antoniazzi's next comment which conjures up images of Pele's starring role as Luis Fernandez in war time football epic Escape To Victory when he points to the tactics board and tells Michael Caine: 'Boss, I go here, here, here, here . . . goal!”

“I used to say 'Oddy, you're a centre half, just do what you want with it',” continues Atoniazzi. “We had this stupid system where if Oddy got the ball we stopped being a back four and went to a back three; he just went and played where he wanted to so that he got on the ball as much as possible.”

He subsequently played for Scottish Universities, winning a BUSA championship and later on Antoniazzi would set up Faero with a contact from an SPFL side.

“I put him in touch with Ross Campbell, whose dad Dick was managing Forfar. Ross was involved with university football and I knew him and he went along there and immediately started playing for Forfar as well.”

While his tale wound its way down the A90 to Station Park – where Campbell was a team-mate – it also entailed regular criss-crossing back to his homeland to play for B36 Torshavn when term time came ended and the Faroese championship – played to the summer calendar – recommenced.

“It was the first time in our history that we got some money from FIFA and UEFA for having an international player on our books,” recalls David McGregor, the Forfar secretary. “But he probably spoke better English than some of the Forfar people.”

Campbell, now director of sport at Heriot-Watt University, remembers Faero flitted into the town, spent two seasons there playing more than 20 games before, almost imperceptibly, drifting away again.

“He played for us at Scottish universities and he was really solid, really robust, he played centre half but could step into midfield. He was mostly really good, a lovely guy, and had that kind of Scandinavian style about him. He was comfortable at our level, it was more just his availability. He just went quietly away into the ether. I can't even remember how he left, I think he just went for an international match and didn't come back. Sometimes our league would have continued and he would have missed a game because he was playing against Germany. I loved that, it was great to see a university player, somebody studying, playing professional football and international football. It was really cool at the time. I remember him holding Ozil in regards because after a game [his debut against Germany], Ozil came over to him when he was with his family and gave him his top after the game.”

Campbell laughs at the recollection then guffaws at the revelation that a year after departing the Angus club, Faero ended up playing for junior side Banks O' Dee in the North Region Superleague.

“Odmar was very friendly with our co-manager at the time, Sandy McNaughton,” says Brian Winton, the erstwhile Montrose chairman, who now occupies the same position at Banks O' Dee. “They met at the university, Sandy ran that team as well as being co-manager of Banks O' Dee. Odmar came into training, liked what he saw, liked the tempo of the training, liked the whole atmosphere. It was a big commitment for him – he had been at Forfar and he could have gone back and played at that level – but he felt it was the right thing for him.”

“Because their [the Faroese] season was staggered we were able to get international clearance for him during the windows in which we needed him. We did a lot of work with the Faroese national executive, and they couldn't have been more helpful from when I made the initial phone call. I was wondering how it was going to be, out of the blue phoning them up to say 'we want to sign one of your international players for Banks o' Dee in Aberdeen'. However they got all the paperwork in place and we signed him up. He was a standout in every game. We've got a lot of good players but Odmar was unique. He looked like a Norseman, the big beard, blonde hair, he looked like a Viking.”

A league title, a McLeman Cup medal and the Banks o' Dee player of the year award duly followed but that wasn't the only impression Faero made on the club.

“He was a lovely lad,” adds Winton. “He didn't come in and say 'I'm Billy Big Time, I'm a Faroese international. He just fitted in with the team, there was no hierarchical thing. I think that's why the whole thing was a success and why he enjoyed his time with us and we enjoyed him being with us. I had a lot of conversations with his mum. She was there the night he won player of the year and she just said how happy he was playing for Banks O' Dee and that we have created a family environment and he fitted really well into that.”

With his studies at an end (he graduated wearing the Faroese national dress of white shirt, fine wool waistcoat and knee-length trousers) Faero returned home in 2016. Now 31, he plays for champions-elect Klaksvik having had a spell in Norway with HamKam – and, of course, still performs with distinction for the national team – as Winton is well aware.

“He left Banks O' Dee and the next game I saw him playing was against Portugal and Ronaldo,” he says laughing. “Which is slightly different to the challenge that we have got.”