GLEN JOHNSON: Having played football professionally for over 15 years, I enjoyed a number of highlights during my career, as well as some lows. Luckily I played in some great teams along the way, so there were more good moments than bad. Here is my run through of the memories that meant the most.
Having played football professionally for over 15 years, I enjoyed a number of highlights during my career, as well as some lows. Luckily I played in some great teams along the way, so there were more good moments than bad. Here is my run through of the memories that meant the most.
Making professional debut for West Ham
Most footballers will tell you that making your professional debut is one of their proudest career moments and I am no different. From a fairly early age I knew I wanted to be a footballer, so for all the hard work to have finally paid off was really special.
I officially made my first professional start for Millwall, but it’s my first appearance for West Ham, the club I’d been at since I was nine, that meant so much. We lost the game unfortunately, away to Charlton, but the fact I came on and was now a member of the first-team squad was a memory I’ll never forget.
Winning the league with Chelsea
As I mentioned, I was very fortunate to play in some very good sides with some of the best players on the planet during my career. One of those was certainly the Chelsea title-winning side of the 2005/06 season under Jose Mourinho. Over the years, the Premier League has become the best league in the world and therefore I don’t think there are any players that wouldn’t like to win it. You dream of getting your hands on the trophy as a youngster and for me to do it as early as I did was a very special moment.
When you look back on your career, it’s the tangible awards you cherish and for me to have a Premier League winners’ medal is just about the best award of all.
Winning the FA Cup with Portsmouth
The Premier League is the one all players want to win, but for the English players the FA Cup is right up there too. It’s a competition that any club in England can enter and there’s something about its history and tradition that resonates with the whole country. Households all still gather to watch the final and to have been lucky enough to win it with Portsmouth was another career highlight.
It perhaps wasn’t the most vintage of finals against Cardiff in 2008, but I remember the atmosphere being absolutely incredible. The Pompey fans turned up in their thousands to support us and it was fantastic that we were able to deliver a first FA Cup trophy to the club since 1939.
Winning League Cup with Liverpool
To join a club of Liverpool’s stature and history was a real honour for me and I loved my time at Anfield. There is nothing quite like playing at Anfield when the crowd is rocking and they really do act as a 12th man. Playing alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez was fantastic and I suppose the only real regret I have from my time there was that we didn’t win more trophies. The season when we came so close under Brendan Rodgers was incredibly hard to take and it still stings a bit to this day, but we really didn’t do much wrong and we deserved a title for the football we played.
I would have been bitterly disappointed not to have won anything at Liverpool, so to get that win in the League Cup in 2012 under Kenny [Dalglish] was great. We made quite hard work of it, but we got the job done, just!
Playing in World Cups
I obviously enjoyed plenty of success on a domestic level, but I was also very lucky to represent my country over 50 times. To represent your country once is pretty special, but to play for England as many times as I did was very humbling.
Playing for your country means you get to travel all over the world to play football and while the results in the big competitions weren’t what we hoped for, I always cherished putting on the shirt. It’s another thing you dream of doing when you’re starting out, so to have more than 50 caps is something that means an awful lot to me.
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