England call too strong for Carragher

Jamie Carragher has admitted he could not turn down the chance to play for England again.

Three years after announcing his retirement from the international scene, Carragher is back, attempting to be one of the 23 players Fabio Capello will rely on to bring the World Cup back to Blighty in July.

It was a staggering about-turn, which Carragher accepts he never thought would happen, especially given much-publicised comments in his autobiography highlighting how England's fortunes paled alongside those of his beloved Liverpool.

But, the 32-year-old freely accepts, with Liverpool's fortunes taking a nose-dive, and Capello making such a big impression since replacing Steve McClaren in December 2007, he started to look at the Three Lions in a whole new light.

"I made my decision a few years ago for different reasons," he said.

"This opportunity to try to get into the 23 has come up again now and was something I couldn't turn down.

"Fabio Capello is one of the best managers, not just the England team have had, but in world football over the past 10 or 15 years.

"I was always asking Steven Gerrard what the manager was like when he came back from England duty. That was a massive reason behind it."

Carragher was initially approached by Capello's assistant Franco Baldini a couple of months ago, when injury threatened the participation of both Joleon Lescott and Wes Brown.

As fears turned into reality for the central defensive pair, so Baldini's polite request turned into a plea, which Carragher ultimately acceded to.

Not that the Anfield favourite is oblivious to the pain being suffered by the men who are going to be left behind when Capello's eventual 23-man squad leave for South Africa on June 2.

After all, he has been through it himself. "Of course I have sympathy," said Carragher.

"I missed 2002 World Cup through injury so I know how they feel. I understand it. But injuries are part and parcel of football."

In a sense, Carragher has shown mental toughness just by walking into the dressing room.

He knew there might be an element of resentment from players who slogged all the way through qualifying and then find they are being joined by someone who played no part.

Equally, Carragher has put himself right into the firing line of the notoriously hard-to-please Wembley crowd, who will wave England bon voyage against Mexico on Monday in the knowledge Carragher has previously slighted them.

Not that the 32-year-old is too concerned about adverse crowd reaction.

"I will be fine," he said. "Hopefully I will be involved and get some sort of game."

That is what Carragher needs most of all.

For while most assume that having persuaded the defender out of retirement there would be little point in Capello leaving him out in a fortnight, Carragher is taking nothing for granted.

And, at England's Austrian mountain hideaway in Irdning, he is eager to take any chance he gets to please his new boss.

"The manager has never seen me before on a day-to-day basis," he said. "He doesn't know what I am like around the hotel and what I am like in training every day.

"He has seen me for Liverpool and maybe likes me as a player but it is different when you are in a squad.

"It is difficult to guarantee anybody a place, especially someone in my position.

"Hopefully I can impress him on and off the pitch over the next two weeks and be part of that squad."

Once again, all members of the England squad available for training played some part, including Ledley King.

Chelsea's four FA Cup finalists, plus David James, were due to arrive this evening, whilst Gareth Barry remains at home in Manchester having treatment on the ankle injury which threatens his participation.

Such is Capello's attention to detail that not only has he taken his players to a training camp at altitude to get them used to conditions they will face in South Africa, he has also provided them with oxygen masks, to help their systems adjust that bit quicker.

"You wear them five minutes on and five minutes off for about an hour," revealed Carragher.

"It is beneficial for the players and hopefully we will see that in South Africa."

Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor