Terry tells Bellamy: I'm a 'nice guy'
John Terry has brushed off Craig Bellamy's public questioning of his character, insisting the Wales striker does not know him personally and that he is a "nice, down to earth guy".
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Bellamy chipped in with his assessment of Terry back when the returned England skipper was going through the turmoil of having his affair with the partner of former team-mate Wayne Bridge made public early last year. At the time, Bellamy said: "Everybody knows what John Terry is like."
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy in the fallout of the headline-grabbing episode but having served his time, he will have the armband back on when he faces Bellamy in Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff.
It will be the first time they have played each other since a Manchester City side containing Bellamy and Bridge beat Chelsea in a game at Stamford Bridge 13 months ago made famous for the full-back's refusal to shake his former team-mate's hand in the normal pre-match ritual.
Bellamy has been in the media again in the build up to Saturday's match, claiming England's players are afraid of the country's demanding supporters, but Terry was not in the mood to get drawn into a war of words with Bellamy over either issue.
"He said that in the midst of everything that was happening at the time,'' reflected Terry. "I have seen him since. There is no issue. If I had known him personally, it would have worried me. But I don't. I am not that kind of character. Hopefully, anyone who has spent time with me would say the same thing. I am a nice, down to earth guy. I wasn't taken aback because he has not spent more than three or four minutes with me.''
What Terry does feel qualified to comment on are Bellamy's attributes as a player. Undoubtedly, he will be one of the men England will have to subdue on Saturday if they are to gain a victory that would move them level with Montenegro at the top of Group G.
"Bellamy is a very tough opponent,'' said Terry. "I love his passion on the pitch. He wants to win and gets the players around him going. He doesn't let anyone train half-heartedly either.''
Terry is not of the opinion that Bellamy's impact will be diminished by his loan move into the Championship with home-town club Cardiff, having fallen out with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.
"I don't think he will suffer because of that,'' said Terry. "He did really well for Manchester City last year. To me, it just showed someone who wants to play football at any level, for his local club.''