IN JUST 12 days' time, 11 brave Scottish souls will step out on to the Signal Iduna Park pitch with the eyes of the world upon them.

Around 65,000 within Borussia Dortmund's famous ground and millions across planet football will look on intently as the World Cup winners kick a competitive ball for the first time since their night of glory on July 13.

Back then it was Argentina who had the task of trying to stop Joachim Low's superstars in their tracks. This time round it will be Scotland's turn.

Among their number could be 21-year-old Callum McGregor, who was named yesterday in Gordon Strachan's squad to face the Germans.

The midfielder has proven to be a valuable asset for Celtic in recent weeks with three goals in Europe already. His strike against NK Maribor has given Ronny Deila's men the upper hand for tonight's Champions League play-off second leg at a packed Celtic Park. Yet it was in the relatively humble surroundings of Meadow Lane, Nottingham, that his path to recognition began.

McGregor spent a season on loan with Notts County, a move that proved to Strachan he had the desire to make things happen, rather than sit waiting in the wings at Lennoxtown.

The Scotland manager admits it was the youngster's reality check of life in League One which helped clinch him a place in his squad.

The ex-Celtic boss said: "I didn't know Callum at Parkhead, but I've seen him with our Under-21s and at Notts County.

"Nowadays we tend to closet kids. They will play Under-21 games in a training ground with no pressure. Then go back on to the bus and the coach is not allowed to raise his voice. Whether they get beat or not, nobody says 'Boo' to them.

"At Notts County Callum was playing with guys who had to win to receive a bonus to make a difference to their lives. He had to stand in front of 5,000 to 6,000 people who boo and scream if he hits a bad pass. Can he come back from that?

"That is a reality and he has dealt with reality. He could have sat there, walking about Glasgow saying, 'I'm a Celtic player'.

"But Callum chose to go to Notts County because he wanted to learn the game. I like that. Character is needed in football. You can have all the skill but character is a huge thing.

"Playing in Europe has helped him but so did going to Notts County. He did that himself. Callum has decided what his future is going to be, no one else."

Some others in Strachan's squad have taken a long and winding road to Dortmund.

Andrew Robertson recovered from being rejected at Celtic to reach the Barclays Premier League with Hull City, via Queen's Park and Dundee United.

Craig Gordon has resurrected a career destined for oblivion due to injury to become Celtic's No.1. And Darren Fletcher has fought off serious illness to remain part of Louis van Gaal's set-up at Manchester United.

Strachan said: "I'm sure when Andy went home at night after being told he wasn't needed at Celtic, it wouldn't have been a great place to be for him, but he dealt with that blow and got on with it."

The sight of 31-year-old Gordon on the 26-strong Scotland squad list is a sight for sore eyes. After earning 40 caps, the ex-Hearts hero went 28 months without a game due to a knee injury which threatened to bring his career to an early conclusion.

Now, after joining the Hoops this summer, Gordon's international call-up is the next step on his long road to recovery.

Strachan refused to divulge who will be his No.1 in Germany but did admit: "I have to make a decision over Allan McGregor and David Marshall anyway.

"I just wanted to get to know Craig Gordon. The coaching staff has changed since the last time he was in a Scotland squad, although he knows Jim Stewart.

"It's about getting him back involved. We have top-class keepers and Matty Gilks is an option, too."