x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Finnan backs returning Carragher to shine for England

The return of Jamie Carragher to the England fold for this summer's World Cup was unexpected, especially as he had retired from the national team in 2007.

LONDON // The return of Jamie Carragher to the England fold for this summer's World Cup was unexpected, especially as he had retired from the national team in 2007. But Steve Finnan, the Portsmouth right-back, said his former Liverpool teammate will not let England down should he make the final 23-man squad to go to South Africa. Fabio Capello, the England coach, turned to Carragher for a place in his provisional 30-man squad after injury worries in his defence.

The lure of one final shot at World Cup glory prompted Carragher, 32, to come back after quitting three years ago through frustration at not being played in his favoured centre-back role. Finnan, who spent five years alongside Carragher at Anfield where they won the Champions League together in 2005, said: "Once you've finished you think you won't be back, but it's the World Cup, the biggest tournament in the world and it's hard to say no.

"He's a great character and such a reliable player. He can do a job. He's definitely worth taking; he can play in a number of positions. "With injuries and players not playing as well as they can, he might get a game. He's an experienced player and you need them." Carragher confessed in his autobiography that losing with Liverpool hurt him more than with England, but Finnan said Carragher never gave less than 100 per cent in any game.

"They've got a lot of leaders in the squad and he's another one," added the defender, who won 53 caps for the Republic of Ireland and played at the 2002 World Cup. akhan@thenational.ae