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McArthur Retires From International Duty

29 October 2018

Palace midfielder James McArthur has announced his international retirement having won 32 caps for Scotland.

The 31-year-old made his international debut in November 2010 when he was selected by Craig Levein for a 3-0 friendly win over the Faroe Islands, and would net his first goal for his country in just his second appearance against Northern Ireland the following February.

He would later play his part in Scotland’s qualification campaigns for two World Cups and Euro 2016, netting further goals against Germany and two against Lithuania to take his tally to four.

His final cap came against Slovenia in October last year following the Scots’ unsuccessful attempt to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but now he has decided the time is right to focus purely on his club football.


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McArthur said: “It is with much regret that I feel the time has arrived for me to retire from international football. I have been part of the Scotland setup for the last 10 years and I am extremely proud to have been selected to represent my country on 32 occasions. 

“I have found it increasingly difficult over the last year to manage a number of physical issues. I have debated long and hard about this decision and I feel the only way for me to be able to maintain my fitness in order to continue to play at the top level is to retire from international football.

“I would like to thank all the coaches, staff and fellow players with whom I have shared my Scotland career - it has been an honour. I wish Alex McLeish and his team every success in the future.”

Scotland manager McLeish added: “James has been an integral member of the national team since his debut back in 2010. We will miss James but we fully respect and understand his need to manage his body as he approaches the latter stages of his career.

“I know that James had his heart set on reaching the coveted 50-cap mark, so for him to retire from international football must have been an extremely difficult decision to make. His goal against the then-world champions Germany will serve as one of a number of highlights in his international career.

“We wish him all the best for the future – he has been not only a valued teammate but a consummate professional throughout his Scotland career. The challenge now is for our other midfielders to step up into the breach and perform at the level at which James did for Scotland.”

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