Sol Campbell is 35 years old and in just over two weeks time will turn 36, but he is still ambitious to achieve things in football at the Newcastle United club.
Sol Campbell – I haven’t come to Newcastle as last hurrah
It may surprise a lot of people that Sol still wants to play again for England, and he’s disappointed he’s been overlooked by England manager Fabio Capello.
But given the performance of the central defenders in South Africa in the summer, some may think he should be recalled to the England side.
Sol talked to the Journal this morning about his England ambitions::
“I haven’t come to Newcastle as a last hurrah,” “And I still believe I have what it takes to play for England.”“I still have the passion, the fire in my belly. I want to win.”
“But you just can’t do anything about it anymore. So I am not going to fight. I am going to fight on the pitch for Newcastle and if it comes to the stage where someone says ‘can you fight for England’ then I’ll fight for England.”
“I am not going to go on about it. It is just not worth it. I think I am just going to concentrate on Newcastle and if anything happens at a later stage it happens at a later stage.”
“Really, I have just got to get my football right for Newcastle and concentrate on moving them up in the right direction and if anything happens in the future it happens in the future.”
Campbell seems determined to first get into the Newcastle side and then to add to the 73 caps he has for England, but he says he will never retire from International football of his own accord.
“You can’t do anything about it. If people don’t like you, people don’t like you. It’s as simple as that. I think it all comes down to who is at the helm and the people behind the associations.”
“They are going to make all the decisions and also the mentality of the nation. You go to Italy and defenders and goalkeepers can go on and on and on really. You can roll the names off of the guys who have played well into their late 30s at international level, so I think it sometimes goes down to mentality.”
“If you are still fit, still strong and still want it, it doesn’t matter where you are at with your age. If you are fit and you are strong, then you have got the experience so I think there should be no problem really.”
“I played well last season (for Arsenal) and felt I was there or thereabouts in terms of international football, but if people don’t like you it is not going to happen. I never mentioned I was retiring, but then maybe I should have retired and maybe he (that must be Capello) would have brought me out. Who knows?”
Of course he is referring to a number of great Italian defenders like World Cup captain Fabio Cannavaro, who is now 36, and the great Paolo Maldini, who played until he was 40, and Dino Zoff the goalkeeper, who played for Italy and Juventus until he was 41.
Some may say that Sol is a little unrealistic to want to play for England again, but it’s hard not to admire his enthusiasm to still do well for Newcastle, and for England , if he ever gets the chance again.
We are all for Sol playing on for a few more years, if he can maintain his own high standards, and there’s little doubt his experience, and ambition will be very good for the Newcastle club.