Lee McCulloch admits shock at Allan McGregor ending Scotland career

Lee McCulloch of Rangers reacts during the Scottish League Cup Quarter final between Rangers and St Johnstoneat Ibrox Stadium on October 28, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has called time on his Scotland career.

Lee McCulloch of Rangers reacts during the Scottish League Cup Quarter final between Rangers and St Johnstoneat Ibrox Stadium on October 28, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Former Rangers captain Lee McCulloch has told the Glasgow Evening Times that he was 'surprised' to see Allan McGregor retire from international duty.

Rangers star McGregor returned to Ibrox last summer, six years after leaving the club for a move to Turkey, and he remained a regular for Scotland in that time.

Despite now being 37, McGregor remains a top goalkeeper, and he has been one of Steven Gerrard's most consistent players so far this season.

 

McGregor summed up his quality with an outstanding save to guarantee a 3-2 win for Scotland over Israel in November – but that will prove to be his final save for Scotland.

Earlier this week, McGregor chose to call time on his Scotland career, announcing his international retirement whilst on 43 caps.

Seven more would have seen him inducted into the Scottish FA Hall of Fame, but McGregor traded all that in, in order to make sure he's at his best for Rangers.

With the international break coming up, Rangers will be delighted with that decision, but it's left ex-Gers captain McCulloch somewhat shocked.

Allan McGregor of Rangers in action during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

McCulloch has admitted that he's 'surprised' to see McGregor retire when so close to such a big milestone, but believes it shows how much he loves Rangers, and will help prolong his career as he approaches his 40's.

“I was surprised that Allan McGregor decided to retire from Scotland duty while he was on 43 caps and therefore just seven international appearances short of a place in the Scottish FA Hall of Fame,” said McCulloch, “I have no doubt that he would have reached 50 games and earned that accolade because he is still fine, still in terrific form and still has so much to offer.”

“It is a chance for someone else to come in and make the jersey their own, but it is a real blow. I thought he would have stayed on to get 50 caps, but that just shows how much Rangers means to him. It is club before country and he all know he is a diehard Rangers man. It will prolong his career. At his age, his body will need a rest and in that regard I can see that the decision makes perfect sense for Allan personally,” he added.

Allan McGregor of Scotland during the UEFA Nations League C group one match between Scotland and Albania at Hampden Park on September 10, 2018 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

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