Ferguson settles for quiet life

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Football News

Barry Ferguson rejected a Scotland return amid concerns over sparking a media circus and losing his first-team place under Birmingham manager Alex McLeish, his brother Derek has revealed.

The former Scotland captain looked set to end an 18-month exile from international football after revealing his "hurt" at watching the national team from a distance. But the 32-year-old on Monday told Scotland boss Craig Levein not to include him when the squad for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Spain is named on Thursday.

Ferguson's older brother, former Rangers midfielder Derek, told BBC Radio Scotland: "I was confident he was going to come back but, if he isn't 100% right mentally, he has made a wise decision.

Levein has now made several attempts to persuade Ferguson to return after lifting the indefinite ban imposed by the Scottish Football Association following his infamous drunken night while on international duty last year.

But the former Rangers player now looks certain to end his international career on 45 caps. Ferguson's life changed profoundly after he disappointed Scotland manager George Burley and Rangers boss Walter Smith by compounding his drink-fuelled omission from the national team by sticking two fingers up at photographers at Hampden.

The midfielder lost his Rangers career and had to move away from his family as McLeish took a gamble on a player many had written off following injury. But Ferguson has thrived in the Barclays Premier League for a Birmingham side who have not lost at home for a year.

And his reluctance to upset McLeish, to lose the time he spends with his family during international breaks and to be thrust back into the limelight has negated his desire to represent his country again.

He added: "You don't want to be part of something if you're not fully committed.

"There are some things that are niggling away at the back of his mind.

"I think he was a bit worried about the media circus that would probably surround him. It might even take away from the game. He is enjoying the quiet life down there. He's away from the goldfish bowl up here."

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