- Burke following in famous footsteps.
- Lambert and MacLeod turned out for BVB.
- McInally the top-scoring Scot
Oliver Burke comes face to face with a taste of home on Sunday when RB Leipzig host Scotland's record 54-time champions Rangers FC in a friendly. The Bundesliga club's flying Scotsman will be looking to make an impression: Emil Forsberg is suspended for the first three games of 2017, meaning that if Burke catches the eye this weekend, he could be in line to start in attacking midfield against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 17.
With a goal and two assists in the Bundesliga to his name since swapping Nottingham Forest FC for Saxony in the summer, Burke has helped propel the eastern upstarts to the upper echelons of the Bundesliga table, but where does he rank among the Scots to have plied their trade in the home of the world champions? bundesliga.com takes a closer look…
Watch: click the video below to watch Burke's first goal for Leipzig:
1) Paul Lambert (Borussia Dortmund, 1996-1997)
Lambert may only have spent one full season in Dortmund, but it is safe to say that BVB fans will never forget his impact. Defending the title, Borussia's third-placed Bundesliga finish was an acceptable return in 1996/97, but the central midfielder helped Die Schwarzgelben to their one and only UEFA Champions League success, ensuring him a place in club folklore.
Writing in German football magazine 11Freunde in 2015, lifelong BVB fan Uli Hesse described Lambert's place in Dortmund's history books thus: "He was a completely unknown Scot at the start of the season. He became not only a key player, but also a fan favourite, one who set up the first goal in the final. He might have been signed as back-up on a free, but [Ottmar] Hitzfeld later called him the signing of the season."
2) Murdo MacLeod (Dortmund, 1987-1990)
Lambert was not the first Scot to play for Dortmund. That honour went to MacLeod, who joined in 1987 after nine successful years at Celtic FC. A versatile midfielder, MacLeod made over 100 Bundesliga appearances and swiftly became a fan favourite, helping BVB win the Supercup in 1989.
Macleod, who left to join Hibernian F.C. in 1990, is still held in high regard in Westphalia. On a visit to the city recently, his grandson, Ross, had the chance to meet several of the current first-team squad. "Ross was talking to [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and he told him, 'I know your granddad’s name. He's a Dortmund legend' which was really nice to hear afterwards," MacLeod told Scottish newspaper The Herald. "Marco Reus knew who I was too, so it's great when the guys from the modern era say that."
Watch: click on the video below to enjoy the top ten goals scored by Scots in the Bundesliga:
3) Oliver Burke (RB Leipzig, 2016-present)
The only Scot currently plying his trade in Germany's top flight, Burke joined Leipzig from English Championship side Nottingham Forest last summer. He quickly stormed his way into club record books on his debut, teeing up Naby Keita to score the winner against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 2 for the easterners' first-ever Bundesliga victory.
Burke followed up that barnstorming maiden appearance with a first Bundesliga goal in a 1-1 draw at 1. FC Köln on Matchday 5, and has featured regularly since as Ralph Hasenhüttl's promoted side have climbed to second in the Bundesliga. "Every day I'm learning something new and I can only get better at this club," Burke told The Set Pieces in November. "I have the right people around me and I'm still young."
4) Alan McInally (FC Bayern München, 1989-1993)
McInally's Bundesliga career got off to the perfect start: the big centre-forward scored twice in a 3-2 win against local rivals 1. FC Nürnberg shortly after joining from Aston Villa FC in 1989. Indeed, "Big Mac" as he was known, went on to score ten goals in 31 games in his maiden Bundesliga season, helping Bayern to the title.
Still the top-scoring Scot in the Bundesliga, McInally also found the net in the 1990 European Cup semi-finals against AC Milan, although the Bavarians were eliminated on away goals. A serious knee injury curtailed McInally's efforts before his departure in 1993, but he retains fond memories of his Bundesliga years. "All the time I was playing it was the best football club," he told Sky Sports. "It was a fantastic football club to play for."
5) Mark McGhee (Hamburger SV, 1984-1985)
Another centre-forward, McGhee impressed during his single season in the Port City after joining from Aberdeen FC. His seven goals in 30 games helped HSV to a respectable fifth-place finish, while McGhee remains the only Scot ever to score against Bayern in the Bundesliga: he netted his side's second goal in a 2-1 win against the eventual champions in April 1985.