Alex McLeish has stepped down as coach of Scotland with Scottish Football Association president George Peat sorry to lose "an outstanding manager".
In an announcement on Tuesday, Peat said: "It is with regret that I can confirm that Alex McLeish has notified the Scottish FA that he has resigned from his position as national team coach with immediate effect. I am disappointed that Alex has chosen this course of action. He is an outstanding manager who has done a fantastic job with the national team."
The 48-year-old McLeish took over as Scotland manager in January 2007 after Walter Smith decided to return to Rangers FC, and took the national team to within one win of a place at UEFA EURO 2008™, missing out with a 2-1 home defeat by Italy in their final game. The former Aberdeen FC player was previously coach of Motherwell FC, Hibernian FC and Rangers and has been linked with the vacant post at Birmingham City FC in recent days.
He attended the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw in South Africa, with Scotland being drawn against the Netherlands, Norway, F.Y.R. Macedonia and Iceland. "Everyone at the SFA and indeed Scotland fans around the world were looking forward to Alex leading us into the World Cup qualification campaign," added Peat. "This is why we chose to offer Alex an extended contract while we were in South Africa. Sadly, he has chosen not to take up this offer."
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