John Terry must be recalled to the England squad for the World Cup Finals, according to his former Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou.
The 33-year-old has not been involved for the Three Lions since announcing his retirement from international football in September 2012, in the wake of the Football Association pursuing a disciplinary hearing into allegations he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match the previous October.
Terry was particularly aggrieved by this stance as, by this time, he had already been cleared of all charges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. In a statement confirming his retirement, he said: “I am making this statement today in advance of the hearing of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel the FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable.”
The defender endured a difficult time for Chelsea under Rafael Benitez last season, as he drifted in and out of the first team. However, the return to Stamford Bridge of Jose Mourinho has resulted in Terry once again finding his best form. He has started every one of their 24 league matches, and also featured in five UEFA Champions League games.
His performance in the vital 1-0 win at Manchester City on Monday night has once again raised the debate on whether Roy Hodgson should try and make amends with the former England captain, ahead of the World Cup Finals this summer. And former Blues forward Kalou, now of Lille, feels his pal is someone who would shine in Brazil.
“A player like Terry in the team changes a lot of things – not only on the pitch but off it,” he told Fox Sports. “I think that he is a great leader. If you want to go to this type of competition you have to take people that will bring a positive aspect to the team and I think that ‘JT’ can bring that to the England squad. There is a lot of young players in the team so you need a leader like him who can direct those young players.”
Terry won the first of his 78 caps in a 2-1 friendly win over Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, and last appeared in a 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Moldova on 7 September 2012. He had two separate stints as captain, first of all when he succeeded David Beckham in the role in 2006. He was stripped of the armband in 2010 following allegations he had slept with the ex-girlfriend of team-mate Wayne Bridge, but was reinstated in March 2011.