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Clichy - I considered playing for England

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Clichy - I considered playing for England

Post by Quiver on Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:28 am

Gael Clichy loves England so much that he once considered playing for its national team.

The Arsenal left-back is of course a bonafide France international now after making his senior debut in a World Cup qualifier against Serbia last year.

Clichy has won three caps but things might have been different for the 24-year-old had he pursued his right to apply for English citizenship after he completed five years in his adopted country in the summer of 2008.

The thought of switching football allegiances crossed Clichy's mind and, speaking before the international break, he explained why.

"I had been in England for five years, it was before I had played for France and, if the English people wanted me to be English, I could have played for England," he told Arsenal.com.

"I thought about it because I feel really good here, I feel really at home here. I can imagine being an English player because of the way their fans love football. The way they are proud of the national team is just amazing and I think any player would like to feel this. England is a special place for a footballer.

"I didn't do anything about it because at the end of the day I spoke with my father and I love France. I am really proud to be a French international and I wouldn't give this away for anything."

Clichy's sole international target now is to fight his way into the France starting XI for their opening World Cup match in South Africa next June after missing the play-off victory over Ireland with a back injury.

However Clichy's love for England is genuine, so much so that he gets ‘homesick' when he returns to France. And the Arsenal star has not ruled out staying in London when he eventually hangs up his boots.

"When I go back home now [after] about two or three weeks I feel like I have to come back to England so that shows how at home I feel here," said Clichy.

"I love it here and I hope I will stay here for a long time. I don't know if I would stay here after my playing career but it is possible.

"If I have children one day I would like them to speak English. Instead of going to America I would rather they come to London because I love it here, the people are really warm and welcoming."

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