The 2 Celtic heroes who played every minute on international duty this month

By David Walton

June 15, 2022

As many as 13 of the Celtic first-team staff went away on international duty this month, but only 2 managed to play every single minute.

Indeed, in what’s supposed to be a rest period for players after the club season ended last month, the internationals quickly came around with an intense schedule. Many Celtic players were involved in rigorous 4-game schedules with their countries that included friendlies, World Cup qaulifiers, and Nations League encounters.

Giorgos Giakoumakis, for example, was involved in all 4 games for Greece and managed to make an impact. The Celtic striker scored his first goal for his country since his debut back in 2020 as he netted against Kosovo as Greece won all 4 matches.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Cameron Carter-Vickers and Liel Abada, meanwhile, also made fantastic contributions and boosted their chance for future international recognition in particular.

However, only 2 managed to play every single minute of their 4-game schedule, with that pair being Josip Juranovic and Callum McGregor.

Juranovic played 90 minutes against Austria, Denmark, and France (x2). All 4 matches would take place in the Nations League. McGregor, meanwhile, chalked up full appearances against Ukraine, Armenia (x2), and Republic of Ireland.

Josip Juranovic and Callum McGregor endure heavy international schedules

It’s been a huge month for both men on an individual level with plenty of hard work being invested into their respective international camps. And it’s an even bigger credit to them when you consider the fact that they’ve just come out of an incredibly gruelling season with Celtic both mentally and physically.

Both Juranovic and McGregor played major roles under Ange in his debut season. Combined, they made a total of 87 appearances for the Hoops last term [Transfermarkt].

Josip has already reacted to his own exploits by admitting that he’s feeling the effects. Extremely understandable given the circumstances. These players aren’t robotic and need breaks just as much as the rest of us.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Thankfully, we’re now entering a period where those who played regularly on international duty can fully decompress. They likely won’t be called back to pre-season training until a later date than the rest in any case.

It should, of course, bode well for both men’s sharpness along with the rest of the international players. They won’t need too much time to get back up to speed when they return to Lennoxtown given how frequently they’ve been playing over the last 12 months.

But massive props to both Juranovic and McGregor for their efforts in particular over the last 2 weeks. Nobody at Celtic Park deserves a break more than them.

In other news, “Spoils it a bit”; Why Celtic’s Matt O’Riley has been left frustrated after Denmark U21 goal