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Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 17:09 UK

McCulloch quits Scotland set-up

Lee McCulloch
McCulloch (right) played in Scotland's 2007 victory over France

Scotland midfielder Lee McCulloch has announced his retirement from international football.

The 30-year-old, who won 15 caps, phoned Scotland boss George Burley on Monday to inform him of the decision.

"Lee said he has been considering his future since around about the time of the Italy game," said a Scottish Football Association spokesman.

"He wants to concentrate on club football and getting back to fitness and playing for his club."

McCulloch has missed Rangers' recent SPL matches against Aberdeen and Celtic due to a knee injury and has not played for Scotland since Burley took charge in January.

There had been reports that the former Wigan and Motherwell player did not wish to be selected for the squad while Burley was in charge.

However, the SFA insists there is no animosity between McCulloch and the national manager.

"He assured the manager it was nothing personal," the spokesman added.

"George thanked him for the call and said if there came a time when he wished to reconsider, he would be happy to speak to him."

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Burley had expressed surprise at the reports of a rift.

Prior to McCulloch's call, Burley insisted: "Lee has not spoken to me at all. I have no problems with Lee, he is a very good player.

"He has been injured and hasn't been playing for Rangers and I can't pick a player who is injured.

"I am sure Lee will speak to me but I am not aware of any problem at all, so this is a big surprise."

At Tuesday evening's press conference ahead of Scotland's Group Nine World Cup qualifier against Iceland, Burley reiterated that personal issues were not at the centre of McCulloch's decision.

"Lee phoned me up as soon as we got back from training just to explain things and said there was no problem between myself and him," said Burley.

"He thought after he played against Italy, it was maybe time to finish his international career.

"I've got no problem with Lee and he phoned me up to confirm that."

McCulloch's only international goal came in Scotland's 3-1 win over Ukraine last October.




see also
Scotland call up striker Fletcher
08 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Scotland 1-2 Italy
17 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Scotland 3-1 Ukraine
13 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Rangers seal McCulloch transfer
11 Jul 07 |  Rangers


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