Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor has today announced his retirement from international football.

The 37-year-old made 42 appearances for his country, keeping 16 clean sheets in a Scotland career spanning 12 years.

McGregor made his Scotland debut during Alex McLeish’s first spell as head coach of the national team, helping his side to a 1-0 victory over Austria in May 2007.

His final international appearance came in a 3-2 victory over Israel at Hampden Park last November, in which he made a vital late save to secure Scotland’s place at the top of their UEFA Nations League group.

Allan McGregor: “It’s a sad day for me to bring an end to my international career, but unfortunately I feel it is a decision I have to make.

“I am playing over 50 games each season, but I know my body and at this stage of my career I need to use the international breaks to rest up to help ensure that I play at the top level for as long as possible. 

“This decision was an extremely hard one for me to make.

“It is also the start of a new campaign and it feels like the right time to step aside and allow the number of strong options we have to push on from here between the sticks.

“I would like to thank the manager and all of the coaching staff for their understanding – they’ve been incredible with me. It was Alex McLeish who handed me my international and club debuts, so it almost feels fitting to bring an end to my Scotland career with his support too.

“I have so many brilliant memories, from my first time pulling on the jersey 12 years ago, to our most recent success in the UEFA Nations League. I would also like to thank the Scotland fans for all of their incredible support over the years.”

Speaking following the announcement, Scotland Head Coach Alex McLeish paid tribute to the Rangers shot-stopper’s performances at international level.

“Allan has been a fantastic player for Scotland over the years and has produced some memorable performances for his country for more than a decade now.

“I had watched him come through the youth system at Rangers and in fact I gave him his debut for the club, so I knew first-hand how good a player he was when he made his Scotland debut.

“Time and again, he has proven himself to be a top performer for his country. His save late on against Israel was crucial in our UEFA Nations League success and it is fitting that he bows out on such a high.

“We will miss his experience around the squad, but we respect that he does not feel able to continue to represent both his club and country and wish him all the best for the future.”