Fabio Capello has revealed he is still hoping to include Wayne Bridge in his England World Cup squad despite the defender making himself unavailable for selection.
Bridge announced on Thursday that he considered his position in the squad “untenable” following the allegations John Terry had an affair with his former girlfriend.
Bridge’s decision represents a major setback for Capello, who could also be without first-choice left-back Ashley Cole through injury.
“I was flying back from Milan when Wayne Bridge announced that he would not be with us for the Egypt match and also in South Africa for the World Cup,” he said. “It surprised me, but I respect the decision of all the players.
“But the door is always open for him. We have time. There is still three months until I will decide my final squad for South Africa. I hope that Wayne Bridge will be with us at the World Cup, but I respect his decision.”
Bridge’s Manchester City team-mate Shay Given insists the defender is focused on the match ahead of his likely reunion with Terry when Manchester City meet Chelsea on Saturday.
“He is fine,” Given said. “Wayne Bridge is totally fine and he is looking forward to the game on Saturday and hopefully getting a good result for Manchester City – that’s the most important thing. It’s a massive game for everyone at the club, including Wayne.”
Asked if he was surprised by Bridge’s decision to turn his back on England, Given said: “It’s a personal thing for Wayne and a private one and I don’t really want to comment on that situation.”
Bridge, who has played for England 36 times and recently returned from a two-month lay-off with a knee injury, was a team-mate of Terry’s at Chelsea before joining Manchester City last year.