'A million miles away' - Celtic star Gordon delivers verdict on upcoming achievement
By James Black
Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon has revealed he never thought he’d reach 50 caps for Scotland during his injury nightmare – but admitted hitting the landmark is “special.”
Gordon missed several years of first-team football with chronic injuries before eventually returning to action with Celtic in 2014 after two years out.
Since making his comeback, Gordon has never looked back and has shown the kind of form which at one point made him the most expensive goalkeeper in Britain.
Gordon has now re-established himself as Scotland’s number one and should pick up his 50th cap – and a place in the Scottish football hall of fame – against Slovakia or Slovenia over the international break.
After reaching 40 caps before his injury nightmare began, Gordon began to doubt he would ever reach 41 never mind 50.
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“To get my 50th Scotland cap in a game of this importance would be huge for me,” said Gordon, as quoted by the Evening Times website.
“I was stranded on 40 when I got injured and that seems like a million miles away to get another 10 after that.
“That was part of the reason I came back to football with Celtic. I wanted to get back to that level.
“At one stage, I’d have been delighted with one more cap.
“Just to be able to say that I had come back and done well enough to play for my country one more time, that would have been enough.
“Getting 50 caps is something I’ve wanted to do and as I’ve progressed in my career, I wanted to try and get closer to it. So it will be very special if I can get it against Slovakia.”
Gordon will become only the third Scottish goalkeeper in history to have reached the 50 caps mark after Jim Leighton and Alan Rough.
The former Sunderland and Hearts keeper can be forgiven for fearing he would never feature at the top level again, never mind be on the brink of making it to Scotland’s first major tournament in 20 years.
Scotland need to win both of their games to have any chance of earning a playoff place for next summer’s World Cup in Russia but Gordon admits it would be the pinnacle of his career if he was to represent his country at a World Cup, telling the Evening Times: “I’ve won titles and trophies with Celtic and played in the Champions League but to be able to play in the World Cup, then I could sit back once I retire and be very happy.”
In other Celtic news, Stan Collymore took a swipe at the European elite after the Hoops’ win over Anderlecht.