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Pressure intense on England players, says Bellamy

Wales striker Craig Bellamy has opened the war of words with England ahead of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier by saying that the pressure on Fabio Capello's men is so intense that they have been left sacred stiff.

sports Updated: Mar 22, 2011 15:26 IST

Wales striker Craig Bellamy has opened the war of words with England ahead of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier by saying that the pressure on Fabio Capello's men is so intense that they have been left sacred stiff.



As an example, Bellamy pointed to what happened at the World Cup in South Africa last year when England were sent packing by a youthful Germany side in the round of the last 16.



"Before the World Cup you had certain players being lined up to be knighted," Bellamy told the Daily Mail.



"You're going into it with the best centre-half in the world, the best centre-forward in the world.



"But tournaments don't work out like that. Germany were brilliant because they went with a group of players who were given freedom.



"England just looked - because so much was expected of them - tense, so tense.



"At the World Cup it was just too rigid. I thought they got broken in between the lines. It just didn't look right."



But Bellamy believes it is not just at showpiece tournaments that the pressure gets to England's players, but also in lower-profile matches.



"Are England players scared? I remember Steven Gerrard, before playing Andorra, saying he didn't want to give the ball away because he was afraid of the boos," he added.



"That's Steven Gerrard, one of the greatest players in the world over the past 10 years. He felt that, so imagine that environment?



"You look at the players, they got to Champions League finals. Do the players want it? Of course they do, they don't play for England for money."