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09/10/2013 08:36, Report by Nathan Thomas
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#18 – Fletcher the leader

Our international countdown continues with a moment of history provided by United's Scottish midfielder...

Player:

Darren Fletcher
Match: Estonia 0-1 Scotland, 27 May 2004, Tallinn, Estonia.

Scotland's friendly match away to Estonia in 2004 may not have been the most significant match the country has ever played, but for United's Darren Fletcher, it proved to be a momentous occasion.

At just 20 years old, Fletcher, who had long been praised for his professionalism and understanding of the game, was made captain of the Scottish national team. The awarding of this prestigious honour made Fletch the youngest player to wear the armband since 17-year-old John Lambie in 1886.

United's no.24, who only days previously had become an FA Cup winner for the first time, described the week as a "dream come true" adding that he had "relished every second" of captaining his nation. Fletcher led by example, impressing in a game that the Scots dominated. However, it took a 76th-minute Kenny Miller goal to ensure Fletch's captaincy got off to a winning start. After the match, Scotland's then manager, Bertie Vogts, hailed the combative midfielder's performance and labelled him "one of the best talents in the UK".

With regular skipper Barry Ferguson returning to the side following the friendly, Fletcher temporarily relinquished the role but he was made permanent captain in 2009.

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