Celtic captain Scott Brown calls time on Scotland career

The midfielder, 32, won 55 caps for his country across two spells after reversing an initial decision to retire in August 2016.

Published: 27th February 2018 12:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2018 12:26 PM   |  A+A-

Celtic skipper Scott Brown (File | AFP)

By AFP

LONDON: Celtic skipper Scott Brown announced his retirement from international football with Scotland for a second time on Monday.

The midfielder, 32, won 55 caps for his country across two spells after reversing an initial decision to retire in August 2016.

However, he has decided against making himself available for new Scotland manager Alex McLeish in his second spell in charge of the national team.

"I have spoken to Alex McLeish over the weekend. I really wanted to tell Alex first what I was thinking about things," Brown said in a statement posted on Celtic's website.

"Given the demands which are increasing all the time in football and at this stage of my career, I wasn't able to give both my club and country my best and I needed to focus purely on Celtic at this time.

"The football calendar is more and more demanding now, and in terms of looking after my own body and in interests of my family, I felt now is the right time to take this decision."

Brown was reportedly unhappy with Scotland's summer schedule of friendlies in Peru on May 29 and Mexico four days later with Celtic facing potentially four rounds of qualifiers to reach next season's Champions League starting on July 10.

"I have known Scott for a long time – I gave him his first competitive Scotland cap – and I know how difficult this decision has been for him," said McLeish.

"Scott gave his all every time he represented his nation and his influence on the squad is immeasurable – he led by example both on and off the pitch and set the tone amongst the squad."

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers welcomed the prospect of having Brown fresh for club duty from now on.

"For him and his career going forward and for his own fitness he wants to prolong his career at club level and with the number of games we have here, taking away international football is a real sensible decision," Rodgers told a press conference ahead of Celtic's clash with Dundee on Wednesday.

"He’s been a wonderful player for Scotland and a real inspirational captain. It's great news for Celtic because we have someone who is fresh after international breaks and we’ll benefit from that."



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