David Weir may be about to become Scotland's oldest ever international but as he prepares to play in their opening UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Lithuania he said: "I don't think of myself as a 40-year-old."
It was widely assumed the Rangers FC captain had made his final appearance for the national side in last September's FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at Hampden Park. However, injuries to Gary Caldwell and Andy Webster means new Scotland manager Craig Levein has turned to the defender and at 40 years, three months and 24 days Weir will overtake Jim Leighton's previous record if he wins his 66th cap against Lithuania on Friday – not that the man himself is overly keen to dwell on the achievement.
"I don't think about it; that's the short answer really," Weir told UEFA.com. "I try not to think about the past and I just focus on the future.
Maybe one day when I've retired I'll sit down and take a bit of satisfaction from that but I don't think of myself as a 40-year-old. I just think of myself as one of the players. I'm not interested in my age but I've been answering questions on it for long enough so I realise it's not going to change now."
Weir has experienced mixed fortunes at the S. Darius & S. Girenas Stadium in Kaunas, the venue for Friday's Group I opener. In 2006 he was part of the Scotland side that secured a 2-1 victory in Lithuania in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier. A year later, however, Weir tasted bitter defeat at the same stadium when Linus Pilibaitis – a potential opponent on Friday – scored a last-minute winner for FBK Kaunas to knock Rangers out of the UEFA Champions League.
However, just as the former Falkirk FC, Heart of Midlothian FC and Everton centre-back is not getting carried away with his latest achievement, Weir refuses to dwell on the past. "Friday is a big, big game and you can't be losing sight of what's important," Weir said. "Whenever you lose a game you've got to question yourself. That's part and parcel of being a football player, but you learn from it and you come out stronger and better. You don't go through campaigns or careers without losing games or without being involved in bad games."
The only current Scotland player with experience of a major final tournament – when they competed at the 1998 World Cup in France – Weir is refusing to rule out the possibility of being involved should they qualify for Poland and Ukraine. For now he is happy to take it one game at a time.
"Who knows?" said Weir. "I wouldn't say I'm not going to play and I wouldn't say I definitely am going to play. I've never been one to look that far ahead or worry about a couple of weeks down the line, far less a couple of years down the line. I'm just glad to be back. I'm looking forward to the football. Obviously it's a big game, a qualifier for the European Championship, and it's nice to be involved.
"There have been a few times in the past when I thought it could have been my last cap, but football can be funny that way; it can change pretty quickly. I don't think about the past, I just try and think about the future and obviously the game on Friday is what I'm focusing on rather than worrying about how old I am."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.