Scotland Euro 2024 star gets refund on holiday after surprise Scotland call-up - 'so proud to play'

The winger is back in the international set-up after years in wilderness

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers expressed his delight at James Forrest earning a recall to the Scotland squad for Euro 2024 – and revealed that the experienced winger had to ask a refund on his summer holiday given how far out the international picture he was just a few months ago.

Forrest, who has been capped 38 times by Scotland, last appeared for Steve Clarke’s team in the summer of 2021 when he played in the nation’s opening Euro 2020 match against Czech Republic at Hampden. After falling out of the first-team picture at Celtic due to form and injuries, it appeared the 32-year-old’s international career was over, but after scoring four goals in his last eight club games and played a key part in Celtic getting over the line in the title race, Clarke has selected him as part of the provisional squad for the European Championships.

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Speaking in a broadcast press conference specifically ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Rangers, Rodgers said: “I spoke to him earlier and he has had to get his money back on the holiday that he had booked! I am delighted for him. What I love about the Scottish boys up here, James and Cal (McGregor), and all the guys, in all my time up here working with these players – and I have been in other clubs before with other nationalities, where there will be one or two that maybe want to pull themselves out – every one of these guys are so proud to play for Scotland. They all want to go.

James Forrest's last match for Scotland was at Euro 2020 against Czech Republic.James Forrest's last match for Scotland was at Euro 2020 against Czech Republic.
James Forrest's last match for Scotland was at Euro 2020 against Czech Republic.

“And, for James, I could see the smile on his face. It’s absolutely brilliant for him. I think it’s great for Scotland as well because you have someone with that talent and quality who has really hit form at the right time. Steve knows what he will get from James. I saw in my first spell up here where he was absolutely outstanding at club level and in the national team, scoring hat-tricks. I’m sure he will able to help Scotland.”

Forrest himself said it was a “massive bonus” to be recalled and said his full focus had been forcing his way back into contention with his club. “It’s a massive bonus and really good after the last couple of months,” he told the Celtic website. “It’s a great end to the season and a great experience to go away with the national team to the Euros.

“Just after training I came into the changing room and the squad had been announced, so it was good and obviously there’s a few other boys from Celtic going as well. I know most of the boys in the squad, even though it’s a few years since I’ve been in the squad. I still know most of the staff and the players as well and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Outside, people were talking and maybe asking me questions, but I’ve honestly just loved the last couple of months, contributing and helping for Celtic. I’ve been really enjoying my football, and winning the league and getting to the cup final, that’s just what I’ve been focusing on every day. Then you reap the rewards with the national team coming in as well.”



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