Having lost the last game of my career to Barcelona was disappointing but we were outplayed from the first minute. However, captaining the team in my last game in the Premier League and winning the title is something I will never forget. I have played with some of the best in the world, against the best in the world and I was managed by the man I know to be the best in the world. I’d been named in the Euro 2008 team of the tournament and ensured we got to the 2010 World Cup. I was in the top 40 most capped international players of all time! What more could I ask for?
The truth was I needed some time away from football and I wanted to enjoy time with my family. After my wife scared me in 2009, I knew every moment was special and I had to show her the appreciation and support she’s shown me over my career. There was nothing else I could see in my near future. Charity work and the occasional appearance on TV were obvious but for the next two years, I didn’t know where my life would take me.
Now, in May 2013, I have begun to really miss football. I managed to get my coaching badges in case I ever decided to come back in to the game and on the 20th of May I had one of the most interesting phone calls of my life.
I was given some time to think over my decision and I took it thankfully. My family are the number 1 in my life but football will always be a part of me and I can’t end my time with the game as just a player. I’ve played some charity games and thought about getting in to coaching rather than managing but now, I have been told there are clubs interested in employing me. It’s been 2 years since I played a match of football competitively and now I have an amazing opportunity. I have idolised the last man to manage me and I believe he truly has been the greatest manager the world has ever seen. His commitment to one club is incredible, especially when opportunities to manage countries came along but I believe if I was to begin my new life, I would be unable to dedicate my life to one club. I want to prove I can manage the best of the best and be the best of the rest. I don’t care where I start, I know where I want to end up and I know I will get noticed if I believe in myself. There is nothing stopping me but do I really want to handle the crap of being a manager? Players fighting, the press being c*nts, fans doubting me?? I had no idea what to do but for now, I remain an unemployed, ex professional footballer. Will that change in the next two weeks? I certainly have no clue
Credit to Ziechael for my banner