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The closest Bournemouth star, Matt Ritchie, has ever come to Scotland is drinking a can of Irn-Bru while watching Taggart – but that hasn’t stopped Gordon Strachan bending FIFA’s always-flexible eligibility laws to grant him his first international call-up.
“I haven’t actually been to Scotland,” confessed Ritchie, before explaining that he qualified for the national set-up because Strachan made him put on a big skirt and dance about on some crossed swords.
“I had a call a couple of weeks ago from the manager [Strachan]. He said he had been watching a lot of our games and liked what he had seen. He said he felt I would fit into the squad so, hopefully, I can impress and can fit in.”
Well that shouldn’t be too difficult. Just slap some blue face paint and yell “freedom!” every so often. That should fool the locals.
It’s not like he’ll be alone either. Ritchie might have been born and raised in Gosport, on the south coast of England, but only four of the 26-man squad ply their trade in Scotland anyway: Craig Gordon, Mark Reynolds, Scott Brown and James Forrest.