John Terry: I won't shirk penalty duty at the World Cup
Published 23:30 17/09/09 By By MirrorFootball
John Terry has insisted he will volunteer to take a penalty for England at the World Cup Finals despite memories of his nightmare in Moscow.
Terry puts his penalty miss against Manchester United in the Champions League Final of 2008, which would have won the trophy for Chelsea, as the lowest point of his career.
He slipped as he stepped up for the kick in Russia and saw the ball edge past Edwin van der Sar’s post to turn the shoot-out in United’s favour.
It’s a moment the England captain doesn’t like to be reminded of. But after England qualified for South Africa 2010 it seems almost inevitable there will be another shoot-out at some stage during the tournament next summer.
Terry, however, is adamant he wouldn’t shrink away from the responsibility of facing his demons.
The Chelsea defender, speaking at an event organised by England Team Sponsors Nationwide Building Society, said: “Of course I would volunteer, no doubt.
“Ok I stepped up and missed one for Chelsea in a massive tournament but at the same time I’m not going to shirk away from any challenges thrown at me in my career. I want to step up to the plate and if that means taking a penalty I will do. We went out on penalties in 2006 and we don’t want the same again.”
Terry’s bravery will remind some fans of England legend Stuart Pearce who missed a spot-kick in the 1990 World Cup semi-final against Germany but roared back to score one in Euro 96 six years later. The picture of Pearce’s face, etched with relief and joy after hitting the net against Spain, has become an iconic one. And Terry believes eventually he will have a similar moment.
“That’s what you want to do and you want to wait for the right time,” he said. “At Chelsea there were players ahead of me in the Community Shield so I wasn’t in the mix that time and it hasn’t happened yet. But on another day who knows - it’s down to the manager. I will certainly put my hand up.
“We’ll wait and see if it happens because Lamps is first choice and we’ve got Stevie Gerrard and Wazza too. There’s probably five players well in front of me so I think I’d be out of the first five. But I’d certainly put myself forward, I’ve got no reason not to.”
Considering England have lost in penalty shoot-outs at the World Cup Finals of 2006, 1998 and 1990 and in the European Championships in 1996 and 2004 Terry’s bravery is admirable and he expects England to be serious contenders this time, even if he is wary of adding to the inevitable hype.
“If we do go on to win it, and don’t forget there are still an awful lot of improvements to be made, I think the whole nation will probably come to a standstill for three or four days,” he admitted.
“But I haven’t dreamt about it yet because we’ve only just qualified. We have to realise there are still improvements to make as individuals and as a collective and the manager has made that clear. We have a chance to work on those things in the next few games and we’ll do that.
“But having said that we’ve all experienced the bad times together and it’s important we enjoy the good times now. We’d love to emulate what the 1966 boys have done but there’s a long way to go.”
England still have two more qualifiers to play in the World Cup campaign, away to Ukraine and home to Belarus, and Terry has already insisted he would like to play in the games, saying “Yes, I want to be called up, 100 per cent.”
And then there is the possibility of a prestigious friendly against Brazil in Doha in November which should prove a real test for Fabio Capello’s men.
Terry said: “The manager has tended to play big teams in friendly matches and I wouldn’t be surprised if we do play Brazil in November. It will be a great test. We’ve had them at Wembley before and gave them a good run for their money in a 1-1 draw.
“It’s important to test yourself against the best. We’ve done that against France, Spain and Holland so it will be good to see how far we have come.
“You always know Brazil will be among the favourites at the World Cup. I think Brazil will always be there or thereabouts, along with Spain and Germany. They have that arrogance and confidence about them that no matter what happens they stick together and make sure they get their way through the groups.
“But that’s what we’ve been doing and my message to the England fans now is they need to really enjoy the atmosphere around England at the moment. We are playing well.
“When we weren’t playing well the fans let us know about it and the players felt really bad. But this is the time for us to turn around and say thanks to the fans for their travelling, all their hard work, the money they pay for flights and tickets.
“I’m sure there will be thousands in South Africa determined to get tickets and be there supporting their country. If we can give back performances and results as we have done in this campaign then we can put a smile on their faces. We owe them.”
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