England head coach Fabio Capello has confirmed John Terry remains an important memeber of his side despite being stripped of the captaincy.
The Chelsea defender was removed as England captain last week in a meeting with Capello following a string of allegations regarding his private life.
There had been doubts whether the 29-year-old would still be part of Capello’s squad, but the Italian was quick to dispel such speculation when he spoke after the Euro 2012 qualifying draw.
After being paired with Wales, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Montenegro in Group G Capello confirmed Terry was still an important player ahead of this summer’s World Cup finals.
“This is now over,” explained Capello. “It is finished. It is time to move on.
“John Terry is still an important player for England. He is still one of the most important players for England.”
Terry’s Chelsea team-mate, Didier Drogba, admitted the claims about John Terry’s private life had made it a “difficult week” before Sunday’s win over Arsenal.
“We offered him as much support as we can, and the best thing for him is to play,” said the Ivorian.
“We tried to stay together and focus on the game. The most important thing is we are top of the league.”
Terry, 29, was sacked as England skipper on Friday following a week of allegations that he had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of former Blues colleague Wayne Bridge.
“It is a matter of time but we will stick together and keep looking forward,” added Drogba, who has now scored 12 goals in 12 matches against Arsenal.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti said: “I wanted to hug him at the end to thank him for his performance.
“For the team it is important to have this leadership. He is always in control of the game and really he has a strong mentality.”
He added: “The England captaincy was not my decision and I do not want to judge this decision.”