Scotland defender announces international retirement with immediate effect

Scotland and Arsenal defender Jen Beattie MBE has announced her retirement from international football.

The Glasgow born centre back has announced her retirement from international duty with Scotland after amassing an astonishing 144 caps for her country.

An integral part of the international set-up for well over a decade, Beattie confirmed she will be stepping down from international football with immediate effect this morning.

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Scoring 23 goals on the international stage, Beattie was key in helping Scotland qualify for their first major tournaments in the shape of Euro 2017 and the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. While the Gunners defender missed out on the Euros due to injury, she played every minute of the World Cup qualification campaign and scored Scotland’s second goal in their final group game against Argentina.

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Off the field, she was recently awarded an MBE for services to football and charity after speaking publicly about her breast cancer diagnosis in 2020, her experience and encouraging people to get themselves checked.

Via a statement on Scotland’s official website, she said: “Thank you so much to every single staff member and player that has made my experiences so memorable and enjoyable. I’ve made friends for life.

“I’ve been a part of the national team for almost half of my life and it’s been incredible to contribute to the growth of the game.

Jen Beattie MBE has confirmed her retirement from international footage at the age of 31 (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)Jen Beattie MBE has confirmed her retirement from international footage at the age of 31 (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Jen Beattie MBE has confirmed her retirement from international footage at the age of 31 (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

“I look forward to supporting Scotland from the stands and I wish Pedro and the team all the best for the future.”

One of the countries most decorated players, Beattie has enjoyed a glittering club career since beginning her career with Queen’s Park in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

Her form for the Spiders earned her a move to Celtic in 2008 but was soon spotted by Women’s Super League giants Arsenal where she joined fellow Scotland star Kim Little in 2009.

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During her first spell at Arsenal, she won the Women's Premier League in 2009, FA Women's League Cup in 2011 and 2012 and the 2011 and 2013 FA Cup before moving to French side Montpellier.

She did return to UK soil in 2015, where she played for Manchester City for four season and picked up further silverware in the shape of the 2016 FA WSL, the 2016–17 and 2018–19 Women's FA Cup, and the 2018–19 FA Women's League Cup.

After a spell in Australia with Melbourne City, she returned to Arsenal in 2019 and has remained with the club ever since, regularly performing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and Women’s Super League for Jonas Eidevall’s side this season.

Scotland Women’s National Team Head Coach Pedro Martinez Losa said: “Jen’s contribution to the women’s game in Scotland deserves the highest recognition and it has been a privilege to work with her.

“Her exemplary professionalism is an inspiration and she is a wonderful example of the determination, talent and dedication required to make it to the top of the women’s game.

“On behalf of everyone involved in women’s football in Scotland, I’d like to thank Jen for everything she has done for the game. It’s been a pleasure to work with her and the legacy she leaves behind will be long lasting.

“This is not a goodbye but the start of a new chapter in her career, one in which she can always count on my support.”