Football - Liverpool FC: JAMIE CARRAGHER will end his international exile this evening – and expects to be targeted by the England boo-boys.
Carragher will make his first appearance for his country since 2007 when Fabio Capello’s side entertain Mexico at Wembley in their penultimate World Cup warm-up friendly.
The Liverpool defender surprised many by ending a three-year international retirement to earn a place in England’s preliminary 30-man World Cup squad.
With Capello having managed to persuade Carragher to return to the fold, it seems unlikely the 32-year-old will not be included in the final 23 for South Africa. It has left some sections of the England support unhappy at Carragher’s U-turn given he revealed after retiring for his country that his priority would always be Liverpool.
But the defender is unperturbed by the prospect of being the latest player to be jeered by sections of the England support, who in recent years have targeted Peter Crouch, Frank Lampard and David Bentley for abuse.
“Better players than me have been booed by supporters,” said Carragher.
“If it happens, I’ll deal with it. I won’t have a problem with it because I know that if Liverpool had a player that left the club and came back three years later there would be some fans that wouldn’t be happy.
“These things can take a bit of time so I will understand if the reaction at Wembley isn’t that fantastic.”
With Capello not considering Chelsea quartet Lampard, John Terry, Joe and Ashley Cole or Portsmouth’s David James for selection after their FA Cup final exploits, it will be an experimental England team that takes to the field in front of a sell-out crowd this evening.
Carragher’s versatility means he could appear at either centre-back or, as is more likely given Ledley King and Michael Dawson are also vying for a start, at right-back in place of Anfield colleague Glen Johnson. And another of Carragher’s Liverpool team-mates, Steven Gerrard, has revealed he played a major role in convincing the defender to answer Capello’s call.