Scotland star Beattie quits international football

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

The Arsenal centre-back is retiring after a 15-year international career in which she earned 143 caps after making her senior debut at 16.

The 31-year-old scored 24 goals for Scotland, who have failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup.

“Representing Scotland has been an absolute honour and a dream come true,” Beattie 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.”

Beattie, who was awarded an MBE in December, is currently in her second spell with the Gunners.

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The defender, who has also played in the Women’s Super League for Manchester City, made her debut for Scotland Under-19s aged 14, before making her debut for the senior squad in March 2008.

In 2011 she scored in a 2-0 win over England, Scotland’s first victory over their neighbours in a women’s international since 1977.

She helped her country reach their first major women’s tournament at the 2017 European Championships, however missed it through injury.

Beattie did play at the 2019 World Cup in France, scoring in the 3-3 draw with Argentina as Scotland were eliminated at the group stage.

She helped Scotland reach the European play-offs to qualify for the 2023 tournament in Australia and New Zealand, where they were beaten by Ireland.

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Scotland 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.

“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.”

The defender continued her career for club and country despite being diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2020 and undergoing radiotherapy.

Beattie was given the Helen Rollason Award at the 2021 BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony for her work following her cancer diagnosis.

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