England Manager Gareth Southgate has revealed that he spoke to Kyle Walker twice not to retire from the national team.
Kyle Walker, 33, wanted to retire from his England career after the Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup, but was convinced not to.
Gareth Southgate smiled as Walker scored his first international goal after making 77 appearances in the 2-2 draw with Ukraine on Saturday, 9th September 2023.
Southgate in the post-match interview said: “I’ve talked him out of [international] retirement twice, after the Euros and after the World Cup.
“I think he loves being here and he’s wanted to keep going and now he’s thinking about how many caps can he get.
“He’s critical to us. If we’re talking about world-class players in their position in our team then he’s probably one of them.
“I think he didn’t realize how much value we have for him and how important he is for us. He’s probably not going to thank me for sharing that.”
Walker made his England debut in 2011 with Fabio Capello as head coach but he has played majority of his international matches under Southgate.
Gareth Southgate became England’s national team manager in 2016, replacing Sam Allardyce who resigned after one game due to the English football scandal.
Walker who will earn his 78th cap against Scotland on Tuesday, September 12, revealed that the high competition in the full-back position almost made him retire.
While speaking on how Gareth Southgate convinced him to stay, Walker said: “[With] the likes of Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Tripps [Kieran Trippier], Reece James coming through, you do think your days are numbered.”
“And how many holidays and summers that I’ve sacrificed. I’ve been doing this since I was 19 [when] I joined the senior team – I’m 33 now,” Walker added.
“Me and Gareth have a good relationship off the field. We do speak and I feel that I can still bring something to the team. So why stop?”
Gareth Southgate OBE is an English football manager and former player who was born on 3rd September, 1970 and played as a defender and midfielder.
The Englishman has been the manager of the England national team since 2016.
Southgate was manager of Middlesbrough from June 2006 until October 2009 and also managed the England under-21 team from 2013 to 2016.
He became the England national team manager in 2016, succeeding Sam Allardyce – who resigned because of a scandal.
Gareth Southgate became the third manager (after Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson) to reach a World Cup semi-final with the England team.
That feat saw the former Middlesbrough manager bag the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award in the same year.
Kyle Andrew Walker is an English footballer who was born on 28 May, 1990 and plays as a right back for Manchester City and the England national team.
Walker is considered one of the best full backs in the world, and he is known for his pace, strength and vision.
Walker started his international career with England at under-19 and under-21 levels before making his debut for the senior national team in September 2011.
The Manchester City star has represented England at two UEFA European Championships, in 2016 and 2020, and at two FIFA World Cups, in 2018 and 2022.