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CELTIC SKIPPER’S CAP COMEBACK HINT

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FORMER Scotland skipper Scott Brown is refusing to rule out a sensational return to the international ranks.

The 34-year-old Celtic midfield dynamo hinted he could be poised for a Scots comeback for the THIRD time in his career.

Brown made the startling admission on the eve of the draw to discover his nation’s Euro 2020 semi-final opponents at Hampden on March 26.

If the Steve Clarke’s men emerge triumphant, they will face Norway or Serbia in the Final and open up a route to participation in their first major tournament since France ’98.

SHAKE ON IT…Scott Brown with England captain Harry Kane before the 2-2 draw at Hampden in June 2017.

The Hoops powerhouse first retired from international football in August 2016, only to overturn his decision two months later. He stepped down again in February 2018 after a heart-to-heart with incoming boss Alex McLeish to focus on the Hoops.

Now Brown is contemplating another dramatic decision which could see him play in his first international tournament at the highest level.

Asked about the possibility of a comeback for the national team, the champions’ onfield leader, speaking to the Daily Record, replied: “Football’s a funny game and you never know.

“I’m in a good place fitness-wise and in terms of my body and I make sure I keep myself ticking over.

“The international breaks have been incredible for me – they’ve allowed me to go away and relax, play golf and recharge my batteries.

“That’s been good for me and I retired from international football to prolong my career and I don’t want to be that guy who keeps quitting and then thinking he can come back.

“I’m going to be 35 soon and we’re very strong in the middle of the park – there’s a lot of young lads in that area.

“It’s been hard for me to watch the games because you always want to be playing in them, but, at the end of the day, I need to look after number one.

“My wish is that I could still be playing for Celtic and Scotland at the age of 45, but there comes a time when you have to make sure your body’s okay and give yourself the best chance of continuing to play for your club.”

CAPTAIN’S ROLE…Scott Brown in control for Scotland.

He added: “They still have two games to get through, but you never say never.

“It would be phenomenal to get to a Finals after 22 years. I remember watching the games at France ’98 as a 13-year-old and my mum put Scotland flags all around the windows and outside in the street.

“It was great and it shows you the whole country wants us to get back there again. The Tartan Army are great supporters, whether it’s at home or abroad and it would be good for them, as well.

“It’s a regret of mine that we never managed to get there. We came close against Norway in 2009, but we didn’t get there. If big Chris Iwelumo had just stuck that chance away it would’ve made me a happy man, but it wasn’t to be.

“We’ve had other chances but didn’t get there, but I’ve done some fantastic things with Celtic, such as getting to the last 16 of the Champions League a few times and playing in the Europa League after Christmas.”

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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