Scotland boss Alex McLeish insists Matt Ritchie has not retired from international football but asked not to be selected this month. Richie has earned 16 caps for the men in blue but only two since 2016 and is not part of the squad to take on Albania and Israel in the UEFA Nations League later in November.
The Magpies winger looked set to be called up but McLeish revealed to the Scottish Sun that it was the player’s decision not to join the squad. “Matt wanted to be left out for the foreseeable future,” he said. “It’s private.
It is not something for me to discuss. “He had injury issues as well, and again, there is management of his injuries. I wanted Matt to come in, but he has asked to be left out at the moment.”
It was suggested that the former Bournemouth man might have hung up his international boots but McLeish has made it clear that is not the case. “He has not retired,” he added. “You don’t know everyone’s private life so you have to respect that. If you spoke to the people concerned you would be accommodating as well.”