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Celtic midfielder Scott Brown announced his international retirement for the second time after winning 55 caps for Scotland earlier this week.
The 32-year-old spoke to new Scotland boss Alex McLeish over the weekend and informed him of his decision to make himself unavailable for selection.
Having made his debut back in November 2005 against the United States, Brown, who had captained Scotland, reversed an initial decision to retire in August 2016, returning for his country’s ultimately unsuccessful World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign but has now decided to focus on his duties as Celtic skipper.
“I felt that, 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 midfielder said after making his decision public.
Brown’s decision to hang up his boots for Scotland will definitely come as a blow for the national team and new manager McLeish, given that the team is in a state of transition. Someone of his experience and know-how would have been an asset in such a period. Someone who the players look up to in the dressing room, someone who commands immense respect, the 32-year old will be a miss for the Scottish national side.
On the other hand, this call is going to immensely benefit Celtic. Brown, having joined the Hoops in 2007, has established himself as a legend at the Parkhead with over 450 appearances for the club, in which he has won numerous titles and trophies.
The 32-year old, in the ongoing season, has already notched up as much as 43 appearances in all competitions for Brendan Rodgers’ side and has set up two goals. As seen by the number of minutes he has accumulated over the course of the 2017/18 campaign, it is very much clear that Brown is an indispensable member of this Celtic side.
A leader who leads from the front, the 32-year old is a highly influential player on the field. He may not be the most attractive to watch in action but the midfield enforcer gets the job done at any cost – a player that supporters hate when he is playing against them but would love to have in their team.
And with him pushing the age of 33, given the minutes he is clocking up for his club, it is natural that his body would need rest and by deciding to call it quits at the international level, Brown has taken a step towards ensuring maximum availability for the Hoops.
The demands at club level and international level could have affected the longevity of his career, but now, by taking this step, the midfielder has given himself a good chance of prolonging his career at the Parkhead which is nothing but great news for the Bhoys.