Great players who had very average international careers, including Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes

Scotland are still in contention to grab a place at Euro 2020, despite losing 3-0 to Belgium on Tuesday night.

Steve Clarke’s men are fourth in Group I well behind the Red Devils, but just three points off Russia, and are level with Kazakhstan.

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Robertson may be Scotland captain but whether he does anything of note internationally remains to be seen
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But they are assured of at least a play-off spot thanks to their UEFA Nations League performances.

Captain Andy Robertson was on the scoresheet at the weekend, a week after winning the Champions League with Liverpool, as the Scots beat Cyprus.

Robertson, who is arguably the best left-back in the world, has the potential to achieve many things in his career but it might be a struggle for him to do anything of note in a Scotland shirt.

But he’s not the only great player to struggle to achieve on an international level.

Below you can see EIGHT fantastic players whose international careers never got going.

Ryan Giggs

The Manchester United legend actually represented England as a schoolboy and many feel he should not have picked Wales at senior level.

However, Giggs, who is now the manager of Wales, insisted he wouldn’t have been able to represent England as a senior as he only qualified for England as a schoolboy because he attended a school in England.

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Giggs in action for Wales in a World Cup qualifier against Armenia in 2001
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And unfortunately for the former winger he never played at a major tournament for Wales. They came very close to qualifying for the 1994 World Cup and almost reached Euro 2004 but lost a play-off match to Russia.

Giggs also played for a Great Britain side at the London 2012 Olympics but they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage on penalties.

George Best

George Best was capped 37 times by Northern Ireland but none of them came during a major international tournament.

His career for his homeland spanned 13 years (1964-77) but various off-field problems never saw Best maintain the high standards he produced when at Manchester United.

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Best is viewed as one of the greatest players of all time
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Northern Ireland did make the 1982 World Cup in Spain but Best was not included in the squad as he would have been 36 when the tournament started and it was five years after he announced his international retirement.

Steve Bruce

Former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce had a glittering career, winning the Premier League and FA Cup three times, the League Cup once and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

But how many England caps did the former captain of United earn? None.

Bruce was entering his peak years and the best chances he had of an international call-up when Graham Taylor was Three Lions boss between 1990-93.

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Bruce never made an appearance for England’s senior side
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However Bruce claimed in a 2011 interview that he wasn’t rated by the manager.

He turned down a call-up from Taylor’s successor Terry Venables in 1994 when he was aged 33 as Bruce saw it as a token gesture.

Eric Cantona

Flamboyant Frenchman Eric Cantona had controversial moments throughout his career and his international appearances is not something he’ll look back on fondly.

He received his first France call-up in 1987 but was banned a year later for reportedly calling manager at the time Henri Michel a ‘bag of s***’ in a TV interview.

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Cantona was the architect of his own downfall when it came to progressing internationally
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Cantona was recalled when Michel Platini became the manager shortly afterwards but failure to qualify for the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and a poor performance at Euro 92 saw French football in the wilderness.

The incident at Selhurst Park in January 1995 which saw Cantona kick out at a fan while playing for United saw him later lose his place as the team’s main playmaker to Zinedine Zidane. Cantona never played for France again and was thus not part of their Euro 96 squad as well as their 1998 World Cup-winning squad.

Ian Wright

Ian Wright is easily one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen and is Arsenal’s second-highest goalscorer in the club’s history.

But despite representing England for seven years (1991-98) his international career never really took off.

England failed to reach the World Cup in 1994 and Wright didn’t make the squads for the Three Lions’ Euro 92 or Euro 96 campaigns.

He played a big part in helping England reach the 1998 World Cup in France but a hamstring injury ruled him out of the tournament. Wright retired from international football in 1999 following Glenn Hoddle’s sudden sacking.

Paul Scholes

Including Paul Scholes in this list may seem a bit strange considering he played for England at four major tournaments between 1998-2004.

However, the former Manchester United man never reached the high levels he did for his club with the Three Lions.

He retired from international duty aged 29 shortly after Euro 2004 which saw Scholes shunted out to the left side of midfield in the tournament to accommodate Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in central midfield.

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Scholes’ talents were woefully misused by England
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Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke earned 74 caps for his native Trinidad and Tobago but his international career was nowhere near as good as his club career.

The former Aston Villa and Manchester United frontman did help the Caribbean nation qualify for the 2006 World Cup but they were eliminated at the group stage which saw them face England.

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Yorke in action against England at the 2006 World Cup – England won the match 2-0
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Getting to the finals was fantastic for Trinidad and Tobago but when you consider Yorke was a big part of United’s treble winning squad in 1999, it’s fair to say his club career was much better.

George Weah

Ballon d’Or winner and three-time African Footballer of the Year George Weah probably had the most frustrating international career especially when you consider what he achieved for his clubs.

He was unable to get Liberia into the World Cup as a player or a manager and on the two occasions they reached the Africa Cup of Nations with Weah playing (1996 and 2002), they failed to get out of the group stages.

Weah is now serving as Liberia’s 25th president.

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Weah in action for Chelsea during the FA Cup final in 2000
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