"Others should take note"; Kenny Dalglish lauds 'inspirational' Celtic star

By John McGinley

March 19, 2023

Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish has paid tribute to current captain Callum McGregor as he closes in on the 50-cap milestone with Scotland.

McGregor has played 49 times for his country and has been included in the squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain later this month. It’s almost certain he’ll hit the 50 mark as a key part of manager Steve Clarke’s plans.

The Celtic midfielder is absolutely thriving in a leadership role at the Bhoys, finding another level to his game since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou in 2021. He was obviously effective before that, but the all-rounder has stepped up his game on and off the pitch to become a captain everyone can be proud of.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Callum McGregor gets high praise from one of the greatest

Dalglish is impressed, writing in his Sunday Post column [19/03 print edition]: “Callum McGregor will win his 50th Scotland cap on Saturday, and the milestone is thoroughly deserved. At club level, the Celtic midfielder has been inspirational for a long number of years. However, the 29-year-old has been particularly brilliant since he took over the captain’s armband.

“Scott Brown left big boots to fill, but Callum has managed to do so with the minimum of fuss. The standards he has set have been superb, with his dedication to club and country something that others should take note of. He is a talented and intelligent footballer, and a ferocious competitor.

“I’m sure that the rest of the Scotland squad will feel privileged to play alongside Callum. He will make them better players and better professionals. Callum will be one of the first names on Steve’s team sheet next weekend, and I can see him dominating the middle of the park and leading us to an important victory.”

McGregor relishes his role in both environments. He’s a fantastic ambassador for Celtic but he also proudly wears the Scotland shirt. For my money, he should be captain of Scotland too – not Andy Robertson, despite his obvious strengths too.

The Celtic man is building an aura around him. He’s a player who brings an incredible work ethic to the training ground, has a ridiculously good – and growing – trophy haul, and provides superbly consistent match performances. He’s also someone who can communicate expertly with the press. He ticks all the boxes you want from a captain.

He’ll be aiming to have an excellent international break and, importantly, I hope he stays injury free – because he’s going to be so crucial to our own ambitions towards the tail-end of the season. Congrats on number 50 when it comes, Cal!

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s main issue with Celtic Park refereeing amidst Hibs meltdown.