Celtic's Matt O'Riley discovers World Cup fate as Denmark name final squad for Qatar

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has been left out of the Denmark squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

The 21-year-old has made four appearances for the Danish Under-21 side since switching allegiance from England, who he represented at youth level, following his move from MK Dons to Celtic last year.

His impressive form for the Hoops – including earning a player of the match award from UEFA for his performance in the Champions League fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk at Celtic Park last month – had led to suggestions he could make the step up to the senior squad for the World Cup.

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Speaking in September about the prospect of boarding the plane to Qatar, O’Riley told Danish media: “I hope so, but if it doesn’t happen right now, that’s ok too. I still hope that I will be in the U21s or become part of the A national team. Personally, I think a lot about the World Cup, because I believe that there are opportunities for me to participate.

Celtic Matt O'Riley has been left out of the Denmark World Cup squad. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“If it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t, that’s ok too. I’m glad it’s being talked about as a possibility.”

O’Riley’s hopes were left hanging in the balance when he was left out of the provisional 21-man shortlist named by Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand last week, leaving only five more names to be added.

Now the final 26-man squad has been published and O’Riley has not been included, meaning he will be free to travel to Australia with Celtic to take part in the Sydney Super Cup fixtures against FC Sydney and Everton.

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