Country before club is not something that many footballers seemingly think these days. With the likes of Paul Scholes and Jamie Carragher prematurely retiring from international football so that they can focus on playing for their clubs, it doesn’t appear that footballers would die for the chance to represent their country, which was the case a generation ago.
However, one footballer who bucks that particular trend is brave-hearted cry-baby John Terry, who has the heart of an English lion, or so the newspapers would have you believe. The Daily Mail reports that despite the Chelsea captain playing against Middlesbrough on Saturday, he is not having anyone doubt his commitment to the national cause, he was just injured when it came to last week’s internationals.
He said: ‘People should know what I’m like as a player and as a character. It’s just disappointing that anyone would question my determination to play for my club or country.
‘No one was more gutted than me, as England captain, to walk away from the squad last week and watch them travel to Belarus.
‘I did everything to get fit but my back just wasn’t right. I have worked hard my whole career not to miss any games. It has been frustrating the last two years because I’ve picked up a few injuries.
‘But England is the ultimate. You get picked for England by playing well for your club. England is far bigger than Chelsea, far bigger than Manchester United because you’re representing your country and we’re all very proud to do it, no one more than me.’
Stong words from the England skipper, and possibly this attitude explains why Fabio Capello picked him to lead the team on the pitch. But is he in the minority of players that feel this way about playing for England, especially with the sheer volume of matches that they play for their clubs? If you were the Chelsea defender, would you rather win the Champions League or the World Cup?