Speaking to the official Chelsea FC website, Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill had some thoughts ahead of Saturday’s opening match against Italy.
Having played the full 90 minutes in England’s last World Cup warm-up match in Miami, the 28-year old center back looks set to start at the heart of Roy Hodgson’s defense for the tournament in Brazil, where England and Italy are grouped with Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Chelsea captain John Terry’s retirement from international football has paved the way for his Chelsea defense partner to prove his value to the England squad, and Cahill is seeking to not only play well but also have some fun in Brazil on his first international tournament with the Three Lions.
From the Chelsea Website:
There are no bigger games or tournaments than this. It is my first tournament so it is new for me but as well as the pressure being there, which is clear, I want to try and go out and enjoy it. When you are enjoying your football I think that is when you play your best football so I just try and prepare the way I do week in, week out in the Premier League and look to enjoy this tournament and give everything I’ve got.’
England face their first stiff test right out of the gate on Saturday, a match against the Italians led by the ever present Andrea Pirlo in midfield and the unpredictable and enigmatic Mario Ballotelli leading the line for the Azzuri. No matter what your opinion is on ‘Super Mario’, the player is unquestionably talented, and Cahil had some words to describe his opponent as well.
I played against him a couple of times at City and he’s been tough. I played against him another time when he came off after 60 or 70 minutes. ‘He is unpredictable. At times he can be world class. But he’s certainly one to watch out for”
Cahill is coming off an excellent season for Chelsea and surely hopes to carry that form over into his first tournament with England, and with his every appearance for club and country I become more convinced the player was worth well more than the reported £7 million transfer fee Chelsea agreed to with Bolton in 2011.
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