Craig Gordon answers Hearts v Scotland question as he prepares to become 6th most capped player
When Craig Gordon returned to Hearts in June 2020 he had not played for Scotland for more than 20 months.
His previous appearance came during the 2018/19 season, just before the start of the end of his time at Celtic. He barely featured in his final 18 months at the club.
Going back to his boyhood team he sat on 54 caps but more than anything he was looking for first-team football. The transfer could hardly have worked out better. Within five months he was back in the Scotland fold. Now, going into the latest international break, a UEFA Nations League triple header, he is up to 70 caps having played every minute of the last 13 fixtures.
Gordon will turn 40 at the end of the year but his Hearts performances in the 2-0 win against RFS and the 3-0 league success at Motherwell demonstrated that he is undoubtedly the best goalkeeper Scotland have. The good news is that he loves playing for his country. If he features in all three games this month, with a knee knock picked up against the Steelmen unlikely to keep him out, he will become the sixth most capped player for the Scotland men’s team.
Not that he is giving that much attention.
"I just want to keep going,” he said. “It would be fantastic if I managed to get all three this time but it's just the next one. I won't look too much into that, it will just be preparing to do as well as we can and try and help the team. If I do that, hopefully I stay in for the next one and that's the only way I can look at it.
“I just love it. I love playing for Scotland. It’s the highest level that you can play at. Every time I am fortunate enough to go out and play for Scotland is a huge honour for me. It motivates me to keep playing well for Hearts and to be able to be involved in the national team. I don’t want to give up my place easily.
“I’ve fought so hard over the years with different goalkeepers to earn as many caps as I have and I want to keep going and get as many as I can. As long as my body feels good and I’m still able to play I will try and continue to play as long as I can.”
Hearts v Scotland
After each jaw-dropping save the question is raised, ‘how much longer can he continue to produce such moments?’ Will there come a time when Hearts take priority over Scotland?
"It's one season at a time when you get to this stage. I wouldn't want to but there may come a time where that has to happen. But it certainly isn't something I would like to do. So I will keep going as long as I can and play as many games for Hearts and Scotland.
“I don't know what a break is, what having a rest is. Since I came back into the international team it's been a lot of games, been very hectic, and even right over the summers. I don't see that changing, I will just go as long as I can and try to keep playing as many games as possible.”
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