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Former Canada captain Scott Arfield announces retirement from international soccer

Former Canada captain Scott Arfield has announced his retirement from international soccer.

The 33-year-old Glasgow Rangers midfielder stated he was making the decision “with a heavy heart.”

“I have loved every minute representing Canada. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have been given both on and off the pitch.” Arfield said on his verified Instagram account.

“From Day 1 in the program, I have stated that this team under the right guidance will fully reach their potential and I’m proud to see it coming to fruition. I have a fantastic relationship with [Canada coach] John Herdman and want to thank him for trusting and giving me the honor to captain the team in his early days as manager. Thanks to every staff member, every supporter and every team mate along the way.

“I’m desperate to see the boys get to Qatar [for the 2022 World Cup] and let the world see what a fantastic place Canadian soccer is in. Thank you, It’s been a pleasure.”

Arfield did not specify why he was leaving the international game. But he has not played for Canada since November 2019, focusing instead on his health, family and club career.

Arfield won 19 caps for Canada with two goals and seven assists.

He wore the captain’s armband five times, including a historic 2-0 victory over the U.S. in Toronto in October 2019 — Canada’s first victory over the Americans in 34 years.

“It was a pleasure and privilege to work with Scott Arfield on Canada Soccer’s men’s national team,” Canadian coach John Herdman said in a statement. “His passion for the game was infectious and he helped lay a strong foundation that has helped the team build towards the success in this cycle of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. We wish him all the best in the future.”

Herdman appointed Arfield captain in 2018 with veteran Atiba Hutchinson then focusing on his health and club career in Turkey with Besiktas.

“Scott brings a super-outgoing positive energy and he’s vocal,” Herdman said at the time.

The Scottish-born Arfield, a native of Livingston, qualified to play for Canada through his Toronto-born father. Arfield’s grandfather was in the military and was briefly stationed in Canada.

Arfield had won 17 caps for the Scotland under-21 team and one for Scotland B. But he never got an invite from the senior side.

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