Earlier this week John Terry announced his retirement from international football. This came as a shock to many people around the world as Terry had been a regular in the team under Roy Hodgson, and was still thought of as one of the top defenders in England, and possibly the world. Speculation started straight after the announcement as to what caused him to retire, with Terry himself blaming it on the FA’s hearing into his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand, the brother of his long term international defensive partner, Rio.
It’s a premature end to a terrific England career in my opinion, but from a different point of view, could be the perfect time to retire. With qualifying for the 2014 World Cup just getting underway it means that Roy Hodgson has plenty of time to form a new central defensive partnership in Terry’s absence with plenty of competition around with Cahill, Lescott, Jagielka being the front runners for the two places. All of these players are probably on par with Terry when it comes to technical ability, but when it comes to pride and passion then there is no comparison to John Terry. Ever since he made his debut back in 2003 against Serbia and Montenegro he has always given 100% towards the cause, constantly putting his body on the line in the name of his country. The most memorable of these surely being that head first dive to attempt to block a shot from a Slovenian player in the 2010 World Cup. Passion is a thing that many supporters say players lack in today’s game, but never has this been said about Terry. And with good reason.
Of course John Terry’s England career hasn’t been without controversy. In 2010 he had the captaincy of England taken away from him by Fabio Capello after an affair with Wayne Bridge’s then girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel. To such a passionate man this was a huge blow. Even though he was no longer the captain of England he still had a massive presence both in the dressing room and on the pitch, and this factor got him into more trouble with Capello. After two awful performances against Algeria and USA in the World Cup Terry spoke to the media saying things weren’t as they should be and that the players weren’t happy. Capello wasn’t happy as apparently the players felt no such thing. This again caused trouble for Terry in the English media and in the England camp. However despite this Terry was reinstated as captain by Capello after his replacement, Rio Ferdinand, sustained a long term injury. Yet, just over a year later after the alleged racism against Anton Ferdinand the FA stripped Terry of the captaincy. This angered Capello who promptly resigned from his post much to the delight of many England fans.
But away from all the controversy Terry has no doubt been one of England’s stand out performers for nearly a decade which is no mean feat. Since making his debut 9 years ago he has been capped 78 times by England, scoring 6 goals. Many people thought he was good for at least one more major tournament and I’m sure he would still be competing for a place if the FA stayed away from the racism case that has been on his back. He has been cleared of the charge by the Crown Prosecution Service which should have been an end to the matter.
John Terry may be remembered for his controversial off field antics, which is a shame, because he has surely been one of the best England players of the last decade. What John Terry should be remembered for is being one of the most passionate England players ever.