EXCLUSIVE: Craig Bellamy probably would have retired from playing international football with Wales if someone other than Gary Speed had been appointed manager. The Manchester City striker, who is currently on loan at Cardiff City, revealed his respect and admiration for Gary Speed in an exclusive interview with EPL Talk.
“I just adored [Gary Speed as a player], really,” said Bellamy. “I looked up to him so much. Probably if it would have been another manager, I probably would have retired [from playing for Wales]. But I spoke to him. I knew it was important for him. I knew that he felt [it] was important for me to stay on, to help him for the next few years.”
Bellamy, who has been the subject of summer transfer rumors linking him with Stoke City, Blackburn, Everton and Celtic, was in Orlando, Florida last week for the Disney Soccer Academy along with several other Premier League stars. During a break from coaching the kids, he revealed his desire to go into coaching after his playing career ends.
“It’s great being involved with kids because I want to go into coaching,” said Bellamy. “But I also want to start at youth level because there’s a lot I want to learn and a lot I need to learn. If I’m going to make mistakes, I want to do it with a younger age group. I’m very aware that I want to start at the bottom and then build my way up, and earn my stripes. To work with kids here is a treat really because it’s just preparing me for, in a few years time, when I want to go into [coaching].”
During his exclusive interview with EPL Talk, Bellamy discussed some of his memorable moments in his career including his time at Newcastle United.
“My greatest memory there was playing for Sir Bobby Robson. He understood the club. He knew what the club was.”
Surprisingly, Bellamy revealed that he’s had opportunities to return to Newcastle United since his departure from the club in 2005 when he joined Celtic on loan.
“I’ve had options to go back up [to Newcastle United] since [my departure from them], but I won’t, no chance… because I’ve played for [Sir Bobby Robson] and there’s no one else to play for up there. I mean there is, but not for Newcastle.”