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Denmark missing Matt O'Riley Celtic X factor as Parkhead hero drills down on ignored impact

Matt O'Riley absence from Denmark’s Euro 2024 squad is the talk of Scottish football’s steamie. And Marc Rieper insists the Celtic star’s finals snub is also a hot topic in his homeland.

Former Danish international and Hoops defender Rieper has told national boss Kasper Hjulmand it’s a mistake to turn a blind eye to a game-changing talent by favouring the old guard from previous tournaments. O’Riley played a key role in helping Brendan Rodgers’ men secure the Premiership title and Scottish Cup – and Rieper insists he’d have placed the 23-year-old old as a priority name is his 26 man squad if he’d been in charge of the country.

He said: “Matt’s exclusion has been a surprise and a big talking point amongst most football fans in Denmark. When you assess the season he’s had at Celtic and look at the trophies he’s helped the team to win, it’s a huge surprise for him not to
be selected.

“Drill down further on his impact, the goals he’s scored, the number of assists he’s had and also the personal awards and nominations he’s won then it makes it even more puzzling. He couldn’t have done much more to push his claim to be in Germany as he’s had a pretty amazing season at Celtic.

“I would have picked him, 100 percent, but I’m not the Danish head coach and I’m sure some people will be glad about that. Matt has been exceptional and has enjoyed a season which has been so special that it must have been really, really hard for Hjulmand not to pick him.”

Denmark reached the semis at the last Euros. Rieper is convinced a mixture of loyalty and nostalgia for that charge to a showdown with England at Wembley – which ended in a 2-1 extra-time defeat for Denmark three year ago – has influenced Hjulmand to favour his oldies.

He said: