Matt O'Riley lands 'small' Celtic reality check from smirking Nicklas Bendtner as Denmark snub sparks brutal pile on

Smirking Nicklas Bendtner insists Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand was right to snub Celtic star Matt O'Riley for Euro 2024 - as he questioned the skill of the midfielder while playing in the "small" Scottish Premiership.

Midfielder O'Riley was the key man for the Scottish champions as the lifted a league and Scottish Cup double last season - with the Dane also sweeping the Celtic player of the year awards. O'Riley netted 19 goals and contributed 18 assists across all competitions while also making his mark on the Champions League group stage – but that wasn't enough for Hjulmand to take him to Germany.

The move sparked outrage in Denmark - with former Hoops midfielder Thomas Gravesen leading the criticism of Hjulmand for sticking with the old guard when selecting his squad for the tournament. But speaking on his Stolpe ind podcast, Bendtner took a pot shot at O'Riley – insisting that the players who were called up were simply BETTER than the Celtic man and noting that he had only made two appearances for the Danes so far.

He said: "f you look at those who have been selected, they are more skilled. It is always a debate, but if we look at it in black and white. Did he have a chance to play in other games? No. Then there is no reason to take him along. Although he is extremely talented and might be a man for the future, he is a young lad.

Celtic's Matt O'Riley
Celtic's Matt O'Riley -Credit:SNS Group

"He will probably join the national team. I have no doubt about that. But at this point, it's just not now." Bendtner also suggested the level of the Scottish Premiership and Celtic won't have helped him make the squad. Pressed on the topic, he laughed: “Yes, it’s small.”