CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to club skipper Scott Brown after the 32-year-old midfielder decided to end his Scotland international career.
The 55 times-capped powerhouse spoke to new manager Alex McLeish over the weekend and informed him he wanted to focus on his club career.
Asked about the impact of Brown at Parkhead, Rodgers replied: “I certainly hadn’t realised how good a player he was until I worked with him.
“Obviously, I had seen him from the outside for a number of years and thought that he was a good player.
“If the measure is the Premier League, then he certainly could have played there at the very top end, but it is only when you come in that you see the value of him.
“He is a totally different person than he is a player. Really focused and he is a big-game player. He makes big contributions and off the field he is a selfless captain.
“He eats, sleeps, and breathes football. That is Scott Brown. You see some modern players and they probably don’t.
“They just pull on the jersey and call themselves footballers.
“He isn’t that. It has been a real joy to work with him.”
Rodgers added: “For him and his career going forward and for his own fitness, he is now getting to that stage where he wants to prolong his career at club level.
“With the amount of games we have, taking away international football is a real sensible decision.
“He has been a wonderful player for Scotland, a real inspirational captain.”