Why Matt O'Riley is with Celtic and not Denmark under-21s this international break

By Hamish Carton

March 23, 2023

Matt O’Riley is one of the many Celtic players left at Lennoxtown during this international break.

Ange Postecoglou‘s squad features a number of players currently away with their countries, but the majority are earning a little rest after not being called up.

The omissions of Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate from Japan duty have dominated headlines, but the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Aaron Mooy and Greg Taylor are missing due to various fitness issues.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

O’Riley is another who won’t be playing international football over the next ten days, but for a different reason.

While details have been sketchy, 67 Hail Hail can confirm that O’Riley is not with the Denmark under-21s.

At 22, the Celtic midfielder is now too old to take part for Steffen Højer’s side.

If Denmark had qualified for this year’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship then O’Riley would have been eligible to compete.

But failure to qualify for the tournament means that it’s now a new Denmark group taking to the pitch.

O’Riley’s challenge will now be working his way into the full Denmark setup.

Photo by Thor Wegner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

That won’t be easy given that the Danes are currently ranked 18th in the world (FIFA) with the likes of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Christian Eriksen on their books.

But O’Riley has the talent and the dedication to make it work. A full Denmark call-up seems like a matter of time.

In other news, Celtic’s squad has ranked well after being valued by research group CIES