Brown ends Scotland career

26 February 2018 14:25:30 EST

Celtic captain Scott Brown has announced his retirement from international football for the second time.

The 32-year-old initially ended his international career in August 2016, though he was coaxed to return to the fold by former Scotland and Celtic boss Gordon Strachan.

Alex McLeish has been appointed boss of the Tartan Army for a second time and Brown has informed him over the weekend that he will be focusing on his Hoops career going forward.

Brown has earned 55 caps for Scotland, but the demands of club football are enough for him these days.

I needed to focus purely on Celtic at this time.

Scott Brown

"In terms of looking after my own body and in interests of my family, I felt now is the right time," he said.

"I have spoken to Alex McLeish over the weekend. I really wanted to tell Alex first what I was thinking about things.

"As I said to Alex, I felt that, given the demands which are increasing all the time in football and at this stage of my career, I wasn't able to give both my club and country my best and I needed to focus purely on Celtic at this time.

"The football calendar is more and more demanding now."

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers hailed Brown's decision as a "real, real sensible" one for the Scottish champions.

"I think he means it this time," said Rodgers. "It is obviously great news for Celtic and sad for the Scottish team.

"I think the last time he went back it was probably for Gordon, to help someone he was very close to.

"But for him and his career going forward, he wants to prolong career at club level."

Celtic are chasing back-to-back domestic trebles for the first time in their history. They've retained the League Cup and are clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership. This weekend they host Morton in the last-eight of the Scottish Cup.

Celtic are 1/10 to win the cup, with Rangers available at 5/2 and last season's beaten finalists Aberdeen 5/1.

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