Green's World cup dream comes true

JONATHAN REDHEAD A delighted Robert Green revealed how his World Cup dream was realised - with a simple mobile phone text message.


A delighted Robert Green revealed how his World Cup dream was realised today - with a simple mobile phone text message.

The Norwich City goalkeeper was one of at least 30 Englishmen sitting nervously by the phone waiting for a call as England manager Sven Goran Eriksson announced his provisional squad for this year's competition.

But the phone call never came and instead the City stopper was just pleased to receive a text message to say he would be on the plane to Germany, just minutes before Eriksson announced his squad to the world.

And although the news was still sinking in for the 26-year-old, he said his selection was the “highest accolade”.

“I heard at about 1.50pm,” he said. “It was a text. I'm sure they're pretty busy organising things and letting people who weren't involved know and speaking to them more than the players who are involved. Obviously, I'm pleased. It's the highest accolade you can achieve.”

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After a consistent season between the sticks, the Canaries 'keeper was rated as a fairly safe bet to be picked behind Tottenham's Paul Robinson and Man City's David James, especially with former England goalkeeper and member of the national team's current coaching staff, Ray Clemence, a regular visitor to Carrow Road.

But Green was always confident his previous call-ups and one international appearance against Colombia in the USA last year would stand him in good stead despite fears playing a season in the Championship could cost him his place.

“It was a possibility,” he said. “It was a difficult one to call. But I've been involved for the past two years. If I wasn't involved there's not a lot I could have done differently.”

The 'keeper also revealed how the injury which kept him out of City's final few games of the season would be no hindrance when the England squad meets up in the next few weeks.

“It wasn't worth the risk but I have played with worse injuries,” he said of the ankle knock which kept him out. “I've given it as much rest as possible. It's been quite a while since we've had an end of season where there's nothing to play for.”

Now, he will return to the fitness room “to get back in the swing of things” for the rest of the week with fellow City keepers, Darren Ward, who is on the comeback trail from his own injury and Joe Lewis, who is on standby for the England under 19s.

Although he admits to be the third choice, Green says he would rather be going out to Germany than sitting at home watching on TV.

“I'd rather be going there rated as number three than number 30,” he said. “If I get the chance then I'll work hard but I've worked hard all my life to get the chance. If it doesn't happen then so be it.

“But it'll be tough. There's obviously favourites out there and we're up there with them. If we get the strongest team out and up there we're a match for anybody in the world and we've got players to be feared. It's down to such fine lines. It's very difficult to call and we've got as good a chance as anybody.”

Green also had words of sympathy for the likes of former Ipswich town striker Darren Bent, who missed out on the squad totally.

“You can only take so many players. There's only so much you can do and it's a fine line between success and failure. I'm sure its extremely disappointing.”

And he was happy to let inevitable speculation about his future and cliches he will be putting himself in the “shop window”, wash right over him.

“It's not going to hang over me,” he said. “It's the same speculation I've had since I was 21. It's five year old speculation. I'm not going to be bothered about it after five years of it. It's all part of the job.

“I play for Norwich City.”