Celtic and Scotland captain Scott Brown ends international career

Scott Brown earned his 50th cap against Denmark in March
Scott Brown earned his 50th cap against Denmark in March

Scotland captain Scott Brown has retired from international football, having earned 50 caps across a decade.

The 31-year-old Celtic midfielder has decided he can no longer juggle the demands of domestic and European club football with international duties.

"It's no secret that I've suffered some injuries in my career and once you get over 30 you have to protect your body more," he said.

Manager Gordon Strachan spoke of his "admiration" for Brown.

"Scott is one of the most wholehearted players I've encountered and somebody who puts the team ahead of himself," he said.

"He is not the type to play within himself, either, and I understand and respect the decision he has taken.

"I have huge admiration for a player as selfless as he has been: to sacrifice family time and recovery time to help his country.

"We will miss Scott as a player, but football evolves and it provides an opportunity for others to step up and take that responsibility."

Scott Brown makes his Scotland debut at Hampden against the USA
Brown had a goal disallowed as he made his Scotland debut at Hampden against the USA almost 11 years ago

Brown made his international debut under Walter Smith, against the United States in a 1-1 draw in November 2005.

He retires without ever having played in the finals of a major tournament, with Scotland's absence from World Cup finals and European Championships stretching back to 1998.

He missed a significant chunk of last season with a knee injury.

Scotland play their first qualifier for the 2018 World Cup against Malta next month and Brown said: "I'm not the type of player who can coast half-heartedly through a game - I give 100% every time.

"Given the importance of this campaign for Scotland, and the challenges ahead at Celtic, I simply felt that I could not keep up both commitments without either my performances or recovery time suffering.

"Gordon understands this completely and I would hope the Scotland supporters understand my position, too.

Scott Brown salutes the Scotland fans who travelled to the Algarve to see the team beat Gibraltar 6-0 at the end of the failed bid to reach the Euro 2016 finals
Scott Brown salutes the Scotland fans who travelled to the Algarve to see the team beat Gibraltar 6-0 at the end of the failed bid to reach the Euro 2016 finals

"I would like to thank Gordon for giving me the honour of not only playing for my country but captaining Scotland in the last campaign.

"I also owe a debt to every Scotland manager before him who selected me - right back to Walter Smith handing me my senior debut, and the national youth coaches along the way.

"Gordon has been one of the most influential people in my career and I did not want to let him or my country down."

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