From facing a Celtic attacking department worth millions to taking on men from the Premier League and Real Madrid – things aren’t getting easier for Declan Gallagher.

But these are the moments the Motherwell captain is in football for. After a match with Celtic on Sunday, the centre-back now heads to Serbia with Scotland for a massive encounter.

Motherwell v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Gallagher is fresh from facing Celtic. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The national team play Serbia on Thursday, looking to book major tournament qualification for the first time since 1998. Gallagher was only about seven during World Cup 98, and after facing Celtic’s menacing frontline of Albian Ajeti, Ryan Christie and more, he’s ready for upcoming battles against some of Europe’s best.

“I was playing against a £5million player on Sunday,” Gallagher said. “Then Odsonne Edouard came off the bench as well, which was tough. Someone then said my next game is against Aleksander Mitrovic who is a Premier League striker for Fulham.

“There’s also Luka Jovic who plays for Real Madrid. So it doesn’t get any easier, does it? But the these are the games you live for and the games you want to play in as a professional footballer.

Scotland v Slovakia - UEFA Nations League

Facing more high-quality opposition. (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“Especially a player who is playing for Motherwell because we don’t get these opportunities very often. So it’s one I’m looking forward to. I feel confident about the game.”

Gallagher was a standout last month as Steve Clarke’s men won all three of their October matches, not conceding a single goal in the process. That form must be taken into this generational match according to the Well man as he hopes to make history.

“We’ve been on a good run, that’s eight games unbeaten, so we have to go into this game with full confidence,” said Gallagher. “There’s no point sitting back, being nervous and dwelling on it. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for some boys so we have to give it our all.

A big chance. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

“Keeping three clean sheets in the last camp was massive for us. That’s given us something to build on and hopefully we can do the same again in Serbia.
“If we can keep a clean sheet at one end we have the players at the other end to get us the victory. It’s going to be tough. They have world class players and the game is obviously being played in Serbia.
“I would think that makes it harder. But at the end of the day we have a really good team and we know what we have to do. We’ll have a game plan and we’ll stick to it to hopefully win the game and get through to the finals.
Motherwell v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Dreaming of history. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“The nation wants Scotland to be in a major tournament and we want to be in a major tournament. We have to go there believing we can do it and everything will be for the fans.”
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