Scotland national football team

2008/9 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Sports teams

Shirt badge/Association crest
Association Scottish Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Flag of Scotland George Burley
Asst coach England">Flag of England Terry Butcher
Flag of Scotland Steven Pressley
Captain Barry Ferguson
Most caps Kenny Dalglish (102)
Top scorer Kenny Dalglish, Denis Law (30)
Home stadium Hampden Park
FIFA ranking 14
Highest FIFA ranking 13 (October 2007)
Lowest FIFA ranking 88 (March 2005)
Elo ranking 33
Highest Elo ranking 1 (1876–92,1904)
Lowest Elo ranking 64 (May 2005)
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
First kit
Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Second kit
First international
Flag of Scotland Scotland 0–0 England Flag of England
( Partick, Scotland; 30 November 1872)
Biggest win
Flag of Scotland Scotland 11–0 Ireland Flag of Ireland
(Glasgow, Scotland; 23 February 1901)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Uruguay  Uruguay 7–0 Scotland Flag of Scotland
(Basel, Switzerland; 19 June 1954)
World Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1954)
Best result Round 1, all
European Championship
Appearances 2 (First in 1992)
Best result Round 1, all

The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, who they played in the world's first international football match in 1872.

Although part of the United Kingdom, Scotland maintains its own national side that competes in all major professional tournaments, with the exception of the Olympics as Scotland is not a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Some of Scotland's most famous results include defeating the World Cup holders England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967, and defeating tournament finalists the Netherlands 3–2 in the 1978 World Cup, with Archie Gemmill scoring a famous goal. In 2006 and 2007 Scotland enjoyed home and away victories against France, defeating the World Cup finalists 1–0 on both occasions.

Traditionally England have been Scotland's fiercest rivals, though in recent times senior level fixtures between the teams have become uncommon, with the last match in 1999, which Scotland won 1-0.


Scotland are the oldest national football team in the world, alongside England. The two countries contested the first ever international football match, at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland on 30 November 1872. The match ended in a goalless draw. All eleven players who represented Scotland that day played for Glasgow amateur club Queen's Park. Over the next forty years, Scotland played matches exclusively against the other three Home nations — England, Wales and a unified Ireland. The British Home Championship began in 1883, making these games competitive. The encounters against England were particularly fierce and a rivalry quickly developed. Perhaps the best-remembered of Scotland's early matches was the 5–1 victory over England in 1928, which led that Scotland side to be nicknamed "The Wembley Wizards". Scotland won the British Home Championship, which took place annually until 1984, outright on twenty-four occasions, and shared the title with another team seventeen times.

In 1929, Scotland played their first match outside Britain and Ireland, beating Norway 7–3 in Bergen. Scotland continued to contest regular friendly matches against European opposition and enjoyed wins against Germany and France before losing to Austria and Italy in 1931.

1954 - The national team first competed at the FIFA World Cup in the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. Scotland suffered defeats against Austria and Uruguay, and failed to progress beyond the first round.

1958 - In 1958, Scotland again qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Sweden and drew their first game against Yugoslavia 1-1. However, they then lost 3-2 to Paraguay and France and went out. It was also in 1954 that Scotland appointed their first team manager, Andy Beattie, but he resigned before the game against Uruguay.

Under the management of Ian McColl, Scotland enjoyed consecutive British Home Championship successes in 1962 and 1963. Jock Stein, John Prentice and Malcolm MacDonald all had brief spells as manager before Bobby Brown was appointed in 1967. Brown's first match as manager was a daunting encounter against newly crowned world champions England at Wembley Stadium. Despite being underdogs, Scotland emerged triumphant after a 3–2 victory, with goals from Denis Law, Bobby Lennox and Jim McCalliog. After the result, rapturous Scotland fans jovially heralded their team as the "Unofficial world champions". This joke ultimately led to the conception of the Unofficial Football World Championships.

After Tommy Docherty's brief spell as manager between 1971 and 1972, Willie Ormond was hired in 1973. Ormond lost his first match in charge, but recovered to steer Scotland to their first World Cup finals in 16 years in 1974.

1974 - At the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany, Scotland were unbeaten but failed to progress beyond the group stages on goal difference after beating Zaire and drawing with Brazil and Yugoslavia.

Scotland appointed Ally MacLeod as manager in 1977 with qualification for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina far from assured. MacLeod made a strong start and won the 1977 British Home Championship, beating England 2-1 at Wembley Stadium. after the match Scotland fans infamously invaded the pitch, ripping up the turf and breaking a crossbar. Scotland continued to play impressively under MacLeod and the team secured qualification for the World Cup with victories over Czechoslovakia and Wales.

During the build-up to the World Cup, MacLeod fuelled the hopes of the nation by stating that Scotland would come home with a medal. As the squad left for the finals in Argentina, they were given an enthusiastic send off as they were paraded around a packed Hampden Park. Thousands more fans lined the route to Prestwick Airport as the team set off for South America.

1978 - Scotland started their 1978 World Cup campaign with high expectations and with a lot of support. The high water mark of the enthusiasm was reached with the send-off of the players, as the squad was paraded round a packed Hampden in an open-topped bus. Thousands more lined the route to Prestwick airport with toddlers brought from the villages of Ayrshire to cheer the bus from flyover bridges. No other team departing the country had received such a send-off. Scotland's first game was against Peru in Cordoba. The Scots took lead, through Jordan, but by half-time the South Americans were level. The second half went from bad to worse as the Peruvians took control. Masson saw his spot-kick saved by Quiroga in the Peru goal, before two goals from the mercurial talent of Cubillas took the game miles beyond Scotland, and the result was a 3-1 loss. The second game was against Iran and here they drew 1-1. Despite taking the lead in both games, the first two results were a defeat against Peru and a draw against Iran. The disconsolate mood of the nation was reflected by footage of Ally MacLeod in the dugout with his head in his hands. After taking a single point from their opening two games, Scotland had to defeat one of the tournament favourites, the Netherlands, by three clear goals to progress. Despite the Dutch taking the lead, Scotland fought back to win 3–2 with goals from Kenny Dalglish and a double from Archie Gemmill, the second of which is one of the most celebrated goals in Scotland's history; Gemmill beat three Dutch defenders before lifting the ball over goalkeeper Jan Jongbloed. The victory was not sufficient to secure a place in the second round, and Scotland were eliminated on goal difference for the second successive World Cup. MacLeod resigned as manager shortly after the tournament. Jock Stein was appointed as his replacement.

After failing to qualify for the 1980 European Championship, Stein aimed to take Scotland to their third successive World Cup finals. Scotland qualified from a tough group including Sweden, Portugal, Israel and Northern Ireland, losing just one match in the process.

1982 - At the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain, Scotland, for the third successive World Cup, went out on goal difference beating New Zealand 5-2, drawing with the USSR 2-2 and losing 4-1 to a magical Brazilian team which included Socrates , Zico , Eder and Falcao.

1986 - Scotland qualified for their fourth successive World Cup in 1986. The squad went into their last qualification match against Wales, needing a point to reach the tournament in Mexico. With only nine minutes remaining and Wales leading, Scotland were awarded a penalty kick which was calmly scored by Davie Cooper. However, as the players and fans celebrated, news began to circulate that Scotland manager Jock Stein had suffered a fatal heart attack. After the death of Jock Stein, Alex Ferguson was handed the role of manager for the World Cup. Scotland were eliminated from the tournament with one point from their three matches, losing to Denmark and Germany and drawing with Uruguay.

1990 - Scotland qualified for the World Cup in 1990 by finishing second in their qualifying group, beating out France. At the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, results for Scotland got even worse. Drawn in a group with Costa Rica, Sweden, and Brazil, the Scots inexplicably lost 0-1 to Costa Rica in their first match in what was a major upset. While they recovered to beat Sweden 2-1 in their second game, they lost to Brazil in their third and final match 0-1 and once again Scotland was out in the first round. This was the fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup finals in a row that Scotland had failed to get out of the first round.

Scotland made their UEFA European Championship debut at the 1992 European Championship. Scotland qualified for the tournament by a narrow margin. A 1–0 defeat to Romania away from home left qualification dependent upon other results, but a 1–1 draw between Bulgaria and Romania in the final group match saw Scotland through. Despite playing well in matches against the Netherlands and Germany the team was knocked out at the group stage.

1994 - Scotland failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 1994 which was played in the United States finishing fourth in their qualifying group behind Italy, Switzerland, and Portugal with a record of 4 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses.

New manager Craig Brown successfully guided Scotland to the 1996 European Championship tournament where the team's first match was against the Dutch at Villa Park. The game ended 0–0, raising morale ahead of a much anticipated game against England at Wembley Stadium. Scotland lost 2–0. with a goal for England by Paul Gascoigne and a Gary McAllister penalty miss adding to Scotland's woes. Scotland recovered to beat Switzerland 1–0 with Ally McCoist scoring but Scotland were once again knocked out on goal difference.

1998 - Scotland were drawn against Brazil in the opening game of the 1998 World Cup, John Collins equalised from the penalty spot to level the score 1–1 after Cesar Sampaio scored but a Tom Boyd own goal led to a 2-1 defeat. Scotland went on to draw 1-1 with Norway in Bordeaux with Craig Burley scoring. However the final match against Morocco ended in a crushing 3-0 defeat and the Scottish squad exited the World Cup tournament in the first round once again.. This was the eighth time Scotland had made it to the finals and the 8th time the team had failed to get out of the first round.

During the qualification for the 2000 European Championship, Scotland faced England in a two-legged playoff nicknamed the "Battle of Britain" by the media. Scotland won the second match 1–0 but lost the tie on aggregate.

2002 - Scotland failed to qualify for the finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup finishing third in their qualifying group behind Croatia and Belgium with a 4-3-1 record, the sole loss being to Belgium.

The Scottish Football Association appointed former Germany manager Berti Vogts as the first foreigner to coach Scotland in 2002. Under Vogts Scotland performed badly and suffered a series of defeats. Consequently the team dropped twenty-six places in the FIFA World Rankings. In 2004 Vogts announced his resignation, blaming the hostile media for his departure. Former Rangers and Everton manager, Walter Smith was brought in as manager in the wake of Vogts' departure. Smith secured victories against Bulgaria, Norway, the Faroe Islands and most notably against France in a far more productive period, with Scotland rising up the FIFA Rankings. The Scottish players also lifted their first trophy in years after winning the Kirin Cup in Japan.

2006 - Scotland failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany with a 3-4-3 win-draw-loss record, finishing third in their group behind Italy and Norway

Smith left the national side in early 2007 to return to club football, with Scotland leading their Euro 2008 qualification group. Alex McLeish was named as Smith's successor and Scotland's twentieth manager. McLeish's first match in charge was a 2008 European Championship qualifying match against Georgia which was won 2–1 by Scotland, making McLeish only the third Scotland manager to win his first match in charge.. McLeish then guided Scotland to wins against the Faroe Islands, Lithuania, France and Ukraine before defeats to Georgia and Italy ended their chances of qualification.

World Cup record

Scotland have played at eight World Cup Finals, including five consecutive tournaments from 1974 to 1990. During the preparations for the 1928 Olympic Football Tournament, FIFA ruled that all its member associations must provide "broken-time" payments to cover the expenses of players from their country who participated. In response to what they considered to be unacceptable interference, the football associations of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales held a meeting at which they agreed to resign from FIFA. As a result, Scotland did not compete in the three interwar World Cup competitions. The Scottish Football Association did not rejoin FIFA as a permanent member until 1946.

Scotland have competed at eight World Cup Finals, but have never progressed beyond the first round of the finals competition. They have missed out on progressing to the second round three times on goal difference: in 1974, when Brazil edged them out; in 1978, when the Netherlands progressed; and in 1982, when the USSR went through. Although Scotland have played at eight finals tournaments, they have actually qualified on nine occasions. The Scottish Football Association declined to participate in 1950 as Scotland were not the British champions.

Year Result Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1930– 1938 Did not enter
1950 Withdrew
1954 Round 1 2 0 0 2 0 8
1958 Round 1 3 0 1 2 4 6
1962– 1970 Did not qualify
1974 Round 1 3 1 2 0 3 1
1978 Round 1 3 1 1 1 5 6
1982 Round 1 3 1 1 1 8 8
1986 Round 1 3 0 1 2 1 3
1990 Round 1 3 1 0 2 2 3
1994 Did not qualify
1998 Round 1 3 0 1 2 2 6
2002 Did not qualify
2006 Did not qualify
Totals 23 4 7 12 25 41

European Championship record

Scotland have qualified for two European Championships but have failed to advance beyond the first round on both occasions, most recently at the 1996 European Championship, where the Netherlands progressed on goals scored.

Year Result Matches Wins Draws Losses GF GA
1960– 1964 Did not enter
1968– 1988 Did not qualify
1992 Round 1 3 1 0 2 3 3
1996 Round 1 3 1 1 1 1 2
2000 Did not qualify
2004 Did not qualify
2008 Did not qualify
Totals 6 2 1 3 4 5


Hampden Park, Scotland's national football stadium
Hampden Park, Scotland's national football stadium

Scotland play the majority of their home matches at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The current 52,000 capacity Hampden is one of several historic stadiums to bear the name, and Hampden and its predecessors have hosted international matches since 1878. In its heyday, Hampden regularly attracted crowds of over 100,000. In 1937, 149,415 fans attended a match between Scotland and England. Hampden is one of only two Scottish football stadiums to receive a UEFA 5-star rating.

Some matches, particularly friendly games, are occasionally played at a venue belonging to a Scottish Premier League team. There have been a few instances where competitive qualifying matches have been played outside of Hampden: Celtic Park, Pittodrie, Ibrox Stadium and Rugby Park all hosted matches during the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign. Similarly, Scotland played 2000 European Championship qualifying matches at Tynecastle Stadium, Pittodrie Stadium, Celtic Park and Ibrox Stadium while Hampden was being refurbished. Scotland played the Faroe Islands in their first 2008 European Championship qualification match at Celtic Park, due to the fixtures being decided by a draw and Hampden was already being used for a music concert on the same date.


Scotland traditionally wear dark blue shirts with white shorts and dark blue socks, the colours of the Queens Park team who represented Scotland in the first international. The shirt is embroidered with a crest based upon the lion rampant of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The current change kit is all white with a pastel blue saltire across the chest. Another style often used by Scotland comprises blue shirts, white shorts and red socks. Change colours vary, but are most commonly white or yellow shirts with blue shorts. From 1994–96 a tartan kit was used. The current version of the crest includes the Scottish flag and a background of thistles, representing the national flower of Scotland, in addition to the lion rampant.

Team colours Team colours Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Rosebery colours

Scotland have not always played in dark blue; on a number of occasions between 1881 and 1951 they played in the primrose and pink racing colours of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery. A former Prime Minister, Lord Rosebery was an influential figure in Scottish football, serving as honorary President of the Scottish Football Association and Edinburgh team Hearts. His colours were used most frequently in the first decade of the twentieth century, but were discontinued in 1909. The colours were briefly reprised in 1949, and were last used against France in 1951. In 1900, when Scotland defeated England 4-1. Lord Rosebery remarked, "I have never seen my colours so well sported since Ladas won the Derby".

More recently, the SFA have supported the use of Scots Gaelic on the national teams's strip in recognition of the language's revival in Scotland. While only in small letters on the reverse of the home kit, it is hoped by many supporters of the language that it will become more prominent in future years and encourage other national teams (such as the Scotland national rugby union team) to follow suit.


The Tartan Army in Milan, Italy
The Tartan Army in Milan, Italy

The Scottish team have become famous for their travelling support, known as the Tartan Army. The movement developed from attempts to distance supporting the national team from the hooliganism which was prevalent in British football in the 1970s. Since then, the Tartan Army have won awards from UEFA for their combination of vocal support, friendly nature and charity work. The Tartan Army have been awarded a Fair Play prize by the Belgian Olympic Committee, were named as the best supporters during the 1992 European Championship, and at the 1998 World Cup in France, were presented with a trophy for non-violence in sport and were voted by journalists to be the best supporters for their sense of fair play and sporting spirit.


Regular squad

The following players are regularly included in the Scotland international set-up.

Pos. Player Date of birth/Age Caps Goals Club
GK Craig Gordon December 31, 1982 (1982-12-31) 29 0 Flag of England Sunderland
GK David Marshall March 5, 1985 (1985-03-05) 2 0 Flag of England Norwich City
GK Allan McGregor January 31, 1982 (1982-01-31) 1 0 Flag of Scotland Rangers
DF Christian Dailly October 23, 1973 (1973-10-23) 66 6 Flag of Scotland Rangers
DF David Weir May 10, 1970 (1970-05-10) 61 1 Flag of Scotland Rangers
DF Gary Naysmith November 16, 1978 (1978-11-16) 38 1 Flag of England Sheffield United
DF Steven Pressley October 11, 1973 (1973-10-11) 32 0 Flag of Scotland Celtic
DF Graham Alexander October 10, 1971 (1971-10-10) 32 0 Flag of England Burnley
DF Gary Caldwell April 12, 1982 (1982-04-12) 25 2 Flag of Scotland Celtic
DF Stephen McManus September 10, 1982 (1982-09-10) 11 1 Flag of Scotland Celtic
DF Alan Hutton November 30, 1984 (1984-11-30) 6 0 Flag of England Tottenham Hotspur
DF Jay McEveley November 2, 1985 (1985-11-02) 2 0 Flag of England Derby County
MF Barry Ferguson ( c) February 2, 1978 (1978-02-02) 43 3 Flag of Scotland Rangers
MF Darren Fletcher ( vc) February 1, 1984 (1984-02-01) 34 4 Flag of England Manchester United
MF Paul Hartley October 19, 1976 (1976-10-19) 17 1 Flag of Scotland Celtic
MF Lee McCulloch May 14, 1978 (1978-05-14) 15 1 Flag of Scotland Rangers
MF Stephen Pearson October 2, 1982 (1982-10-02) 10 0 Flag of England Derby County
MF Gary Teale July 21, 1978 (1978-07-21) 10 0 Flag of England Derby County
MF Scott Brown June 25, 1985 (1985-06-25) 8 0 Flag of Scotland Celtic
MF Barry Robson November 7, 1978 (1978-11-07) 1 0 Flag of Scotland Celtic
FW James McFadden April 14, 1983 (1983-04-14) 37 13 Flag of England Birmingham City
FW Kenny Miller December 23, 1979 (1979-12-23) 35 10 Flag of England Derby County
FW Garry O'Connor May 7, 1983 (1983-05-07) 15 4 Flag of England Birmingham City
FW Kris Boyd August 18, 1983 (1983-08-18) 13 7 Flag of Scotland Rangers
FW Shaun Maloney January 24, 1983 (1983-01-24) 9 1 Flag of England Aston Villa
FW Craig Beattie January 16, 1984 (1984-01-16) 7 1 Flag of England West Bromwich Albion


The following players have all been called up to the squad in the 12 months to August 2007.

Pos. Player Date of birth/Age Caps Goals Club
GK Paul Gallacher August 16, 1979 (1979-08-16) 7 0 Flag of Scotland Dunfermline
GK Neil Alexander March 10, 1978 (1978-03-10) 3 0 Flag of Scotland Rangers
GK Jamie Langfield December 22, 1979 (1979-12-22) 0 0 Flag of Scotland Aberdeen
DF Jackie McNamara October 24, 1973 (1973-10-24) 33 0 Flag of Scotland Aberdeen
DF Andy Webster April 23, 1982 (1982-04-23) 22 1 Flag of Scotland Rangers
DF Russell Anderson October 25, 1978 (1978-10-25) 10 0 Flag of England Sunderland
DF Stephen Caldwell September 12, 1980 (1980-09-12) 9 0 Flag of England Burnley
DF Ian Murray March 20, 1981 (1981-03-20) 6 0 Flag of Scotland Hibernian
DF Graeme Murty November 13, 1974 (1974-11-13) 4 0 Flag of England Reading
DF Kevin McNaughton August 28, 1982 (1982-08-28) 3 0 Flag of Wales Cardiff City
DF Robbie Neilson June 19, 1980 (1980-06-19) 1 0 Flag of Scotland Hearts
DF Christophe Berra January 31, 1985 (1985-01-31) 0 0 Flag of Scotland Hearts
MF Nigel Quashie July 20, 1978 (1978-07-20) 14 1 Flag of England West Ham United
MF Scott Severin February 15, 1979 (1979-02-15) 14 0 Flag of Scotland Aberdeen
MF Richard Hughes June 25, 1979 (1979-06-25) 5 0 Flag of England Portsmouth
MF Chris Burke December 2, 1983 (1983-12-02) 2 2 Flag of Scotland Rangers
MF Charlie Adam October 12, 1985 (1985-10-12) 2 0 Flag of Scotland Rangers
MF James Morrison May 25, 1986 (1986-05-25) 0 0 Flag of England West Bromwich Albion
FW Steven Naismith November 14, 1986 (1986-11-14) 1 0 Flag of Scotland Rangers


From 1872–1954 and 1954–1958 the Scotland national team was appointed by a selection committee. Andy Beattie was manager for six matches in 1954 when Scotland competed at their first World Cup. After the tournament the selection committee resumed their duties, continuing until the appointment of Matt Busby in 1958.

The most recent manager is George Burley who was appointed on 23 January 2008 after leaving English Championship club Southampton.

Name Scotland career Played Won Drawn Lost Win % Points per game
Flag of Scotland Selection committee 1872–1954
254 148 48 58 58.27 1.94
Flag of Scotland Beattie, Andy Andy Beattie 1954 6 2 1 3 33.33 1.17
Flag of Scotland Walker, Dawson Dawson Walker 1958 6 1 2 3 16.66 0.83
Flag of Scotland Busby, Matt Matt Busby 1958 2 1 1 0 50.00 2.00
Flag of Scotland Beattie, Andy Andy Beattie 1959–60 11 4 3 4 36.36 1.36
Flag of Scotland McColl, Ian Ian McColl 1960–65 28 17 3 8 60.71 1.93
Flag of Scotland Stein, Jock Jock Stein 1965–66 7 3 1 3 42.86 1.43
Flag of Scotland Prentice, John John Prentice 1966 4 0 1 3 0.00 0.25
Flag of Scotland McDonald, Malcolm Malcolm McDonald 1966–67 2 1 1 0 50.00 2.00
Flag of Scotland Brown, Bobby Bobby Brown 1967–71 28 9 8 11 32.14 1.25
Flag of Scotland Docherty, Tommy Tommy Docherty 1971–72 12 7 2 3 58.33 1.92
Flag of Scotland Ormond, Willie Willie Ormond 1973–77 38 18 8 12 47.37 1.63
Flag of Scotland MacLeod, Ally Ally MacLeod 1977–78 17 7 5 5 41.18 1.53
Flag of Scotland Stein, Jock Jock Stein 1978–85 61 26 12 23 42.62 1.48
Flag of Scotland Ferguson, Alex Alex Ferguson 1985–86 10 3 4 3 30.00 1.30
Flag of Scotland Roxburgh, Andy Andy Roxburgh 1986–93 62 23 19 20 37.10 1.42
Flag of Scotland Brown, Craig Craig Brown 1993–2002 70 32 18 20 45.71 1.63
Flag of Germany Vogts, Berti Berti Vogts 2002–04 31 8 7 16 23.33 0.93
Flag of Scotland Burns, Tommy Tommy Burns 2004 1 0 0 1 0.00 0.00
Flag of Scotland Smith, Walter Walter Smith 2004–07 16 7 5 4 43.75 1.63
Flag of Scotland McLeish, Alex Alex McLeish 2007 10 7 0 3 70.00 2.10
Flag of Scotland Burley, George George Burley 2008- 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 675 323 149 203 47.85 1.66

Last updated: 23 January 2008. Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.


Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986. He is the only Scotland player to have reached 100 caps. Jim Leighton is second, having played 91 times, a record for appearances by a goalkeeper. Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish played for Scotland 77 times and is the third most capped player.

The title of Scotland's highest goalscorer is shared by two players. Denis Law scored 30 goals between 1958 and 1974, during which time he played for Scotland on 55 occasions. Kenny Dalglish scored an equal number from 102 appearances. Hughie Gallacher holds the record for goals scored in one match; he scored five goals in a 7–3 defeat of Northern Ireland in February 1929. Other notable strikers include, Ally McCoist, Mo Johnston and Joe Jordan.

The largest margin of victory achieved by a Scotland side is 11–0 against Ireland in the 1901 British Home Championship. The record defeat occurred during the 1954 World Cup, a 7–0 deficit against reigning world champions Uruguay.

Scotland's 1937 British Home Championship match against England set a new world record for a football attendance. The Hampden Park crowd was officially recorded as 149,415, though the true figure is unknown as a large number of additional fans gained unauthorised entry. This attendance was surpassed 13 years later by the 1950 World Cup final, but remains a European record.

United Kingdom team

Scotland, alongside England, Northern Ireland and Wales, has always preserved its own representative side that plays in all but one of the major professional tournaments. At the Olympic Games, the rules only permit the United Kingdom to compete.

London's successful bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics, prompted suggestions that a combined UK team be created for the tournament. However, the Scottish Football Association has stated that it will not participate in such a team as doing so would threaten the independent status of the Scottish side. Fifa president Sepp Blatter has however stated that a UK team would in no way threaten the continued existence of the Scotland team.

Gordon Smith the chief executive of the SFA had backed a UK team for the Olympics before being appointed. When asked about the prospect on BBC Newsnight he said "Football fans might say they don't support a British team, but I like to see Britain winning medals in the Olympics. If there are four athletes in a relay team, two of them Scots, one English and one Irish, then I would be supporting them because they were from Britain. So I would support a British football team [at the Olympics] and hopefully we can just allow it to happen". After being appointed SFA chief executive he decided to back the SFA's position saying "If the SFA do not want to take part, that's fine by me and I will back that stance. I've got more important things to think about".

Despite the opposition of the Scottish Football Association and that of the Football Association of Wales, which also opposes a UK wide team, the formation of a squad comprising players from England and Northern Ireland remains a possibility. In response, groups representing the supporters of all four national teams have stated their opposition to a UK team and have issued a joint statement in an attempt to prevent the amalgamation of their teams.

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