In numbers: Scotland’s most capped footballers
They are the players who have been called to don the dark blue shirt of Scotland more than any other.
The top 10 most capped players list contains some of the most famous names in the game north of the border, with most having the honour of playing at a major international tournament.
Half of Scotland’s most capped players are defenders and another is a goalkeeper, proving how indispensable managers view reliable players who are unlikely to crack in the heat of the battle.
KENNY DALGLISH (102 caps, 1971-1986)
The man known as King Kenny remains the only Scotland player to reach 100 caps. Like most players in this list, it could easily have been more - the Liverpool forward missed the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico through injury. Dalglish, who was famously a boyhood Rangers fan, broke through the ranks at Celtic in the Jock Stein era before being sold to Liverpool in 1977 for a then British record of £440,000. He is also Scotland’s joint-top scorer with 30 goals, a record he shares with Manchester United legend Denis Law - although Lawman achieved it in just 55 international appearances.
JIM LEIGHTON (91 caps, 1982-1998)
The goalkeeper’s international career spanned 16 years and three World Cup finals, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the man from Johnstone. A loss of form following his move from Aberdeen to Manchester United meant Leighton was out of the Scotland scene for three years. By the time he returned in 1993 he had to challenge Andy Goram for the number one jersey, and the Rangers stopper was picked for the Euro 96 championships in England. Leighton was back between the sticks for the World Cup in France two years later, and finally retired from Scotland duty in 1998 aged 40.
ALEX McLEISH (77 caps, 1980-1993)
Big Eck was Scotland’s first choice centre half for more than a decade, winning all of his caps while playing for Aberdeen during the most successful era in the club’s history. McLeish, who grew up in Barrhead, won his first Scotland under-21 cap while still a reserve player at Pittodrie. He was given his first cap by Jock Stein against Portugal in 1980 and retired 13 years later, following a World Cup 94 qualification match against Malta. McLeish never found the net on Scotland duty.
PAUL McSTAY (76 caps, 1983-1997)
A prodigiously gifted midfielder, McStay was capped at all levels for Scotland. He captained Scotland schoolboys when they ran out 5-4 winners over England at Wembley in 1980, scoring two goals in the process. He made his full debut aged 18 in 1983 in a 2-0 victory over Uruguay. He played in both the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, but recurring injuries forced him to retire in 1997 ahead of Scotland’s appearance at France 98.
TOM BOYD (72 caps, 1990-2001)
Defensive stalwart Boyd enjoyed a long and distinguished international career which saw him play at three major tournaments in a six year period. Winning his first cap while still a Motherwell player in 1990 in a 2-1 win against Romania, he was an automatic choice throughout Craig Brown’s time as Scotland boss.
DARREN FLETCHER (70 caps, 2003-2015)
West Bromwich Albion captain Fletcher is likely to increase his tally of caps in the coming years. Providing he can maintain his fitness he could overtake Alex McLeish’s total of 77 and enter the top three. The former Manchester United midfielder made his international debut in 2003 and scored a memorable goal in his second Scotland game against Lithuania, which secured a play-off place. He became the second youngest Scotland captain in history when he led the side, aged 20, against Estonia in 2004.
KENNY MILLER (69 caps, 2001-2013)
The hard-working striker was often left to lead the Scotland line on his own, but still contributed several crucial goals against the likes of Italy, Germany and Ukraine. He scored on his final international appearance against England at Wembley in 2013, which brought his tally to 18.
DAVID WEIR (69 caps, 1998-2010)
An accomplished centre half, Weir broke into the Scotland team as it endured a comparatively barren spell but was a first choice in the latter days of Craig Brown’s spell in charge. He retired from international football following the 2-2 draw in the Faroe Islands in 2004, but quickly returned to the fold following the appointment of Walter Smith as manager. Weir broke Jim Leighton’s record as the oldest player to be capped when he was part of the Scotland team that played Lithuania in 2010, aged 40 years and 116 days.
CHRISTIAN DAILLY (67 caps, 1997-2008)
The versatile Dundonian was capable of playing in either defence or midfield and established himself as a Tartan Army favourite during his long career. He became the youngest player to represent Scotland under-21s when he made his debut aged 16 in 1990. He would go on to captain the senior side on 12 occasions and score six goals.
WILLIE MILLER (65 caps, 1975-1989)
Miller formed one of the best defensive partnerships in British football playing alongside Alex McLeish for Aberdeen and Scotland. He was once described by Sir Alex Ferguson as “the best penalty box defender in the world”. He was an inaugural inductee to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, in 2004.