Celtic skipper Scott Brown has hit back at the press, saying that he never said he would come out of international retirement if Scotland qualify for Euro 2020.
Steve Clarke’s men are just two games away from ending the country’s 22 year wait for major championship football. Scotland will host Israel – featuring Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed – in March, before potentially taking on Norway or Serbia away from home for a place at the 24-team tournament.
It had been reported in November (The Times among others) that Brown would consider un-retiring for the second time if Scotland made the Europe-wide finals. However, the Celtic legend says that was never the case.
“There’s a big thing made of this, but it was the press putting words in my mouth,” he told the BBC on Tuesday.
“It would be a great experience. I was devastated that I never made a Euros or a World Cup, but everyone has to do what’s right for Steve Clarke, whether it be postponing games to help them prepare or whatever.
“I wish the lads all the best. It would be amazing to see Scotland at the Euros. They have two big games and hopefully they can do it.”
Brown is right to set the press straight over Scotland claim
It seems best for everyone that Brown doesn’t consider any sort of international return. There’s no doubting that he could cope with the level of football at the Euros, but does he really need it in his life?
Brown has already admitted that next season will be his last in the Hoops (Daily Record, January 2019) so it would make sense for him to get as long a summer as possible ahead of one last push.
The earlier date for this season’s Scottish Cup final could also help him out as we aim to go, hopefully, for the magic ten-in-a-row.
Also, Scotland are pretty well blessed for central-midfield talent at the moment and it would probably be a little bit harsh on either John McGinn, Callum McGregor or Scott McTominay if they were to drop out after helping the country qualify.