Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden will make his England debut after being selected to start Saturday's Nations League match against Iceland.

Foden, 20, enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at City last season, featuring with increasing frequency in Pep Guardiola's first team.

He made 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring eight times – a haul that included five of his six career strikes in the Premier League.

Particularly strong form after lockdown persuaded Gareth Southgate to call up Foden, who has 15 England Under-21 caps and was a star performer during the Three Lions' U-20 World Cup triumph in 2017.

Foden looks set to line up on the left of a midfield three anchored by West Ham's Declan Rice, with Southampton's James Ward-Prowse another surprise inclusion.

Kieran Trippier starts in the unfamiliar position of left-back, with Southgate having opted against selecting a specialist in his squad.

Saturday's Nations League Group A2 encounter is the first meeting between the two countries since Iceland stunned England with a 2-1 upset win in the last-16 phase of Euro 2016.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling both featured in that match and line-up alongside Jadon Sancho in Southgate's forward line in Reykjavik.

England captain Harry Kane dubbed Mason Greenwood "a really complete goal-scorer" after the Manchester United winger impressed at his first training camp with the Three Lions.

Greenwood received his first call-up to Gareth Southgate's squad after finishing the 2019-20 season with a tally of 10 goals in 31 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils.

The Bradford-born teenager also netted five times in the Europa League for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men and is regarded as one of the best attacking players to have emerged at Old Trafford since Marcus Rashford.

Speaking ahead of England's Nations League opener against Iceland, Kane told reporters: "Mason has been great since the first training session we had.

"You can tell he is full of confidence as a player, he is not afraid to shoot, not afraid to take players on and that is exactly what we want.

"People use the phrase: 'He is a natural goalscorer,' and I guess it is just one of those things, you work a lot on being in the right place at the right time.

"Some of it is just instinct, balls dropping to you in the box and being able to finish it but I guess, looking at him in the short time we have spent together, it is all different kinds of finishing – left foot, right foot, inside of the foot, powerful shots.

"I think that shows a really complete goal-scorer when you can score in any situation. Obviously it has only been a short period of time but he definitely looks like a real top finisher and we look forward to having him in the squads to come because he is still very young."

Greenwood is in contention to make his full England debut as Southgate's men take on Iceland for the first time since the Scandinavian minnows knocked them out of Eurp 2016.

Kane reflected on what that evening in Nice taught him, saying: "It is definitely one of the toughest nights I’ve had in an England shirt.

But it is a game I have definitely learnt from. Obviously that was my first international tournament.

"I was still inexperienced at that level and even club-level really. All throughout the journey in my career I have always tried to take nights like that as a chance to learn and improve.

"I think I have definitely done that as a person, I think the team has definitely improved over the last four years, so of course those games are always in your mind and you always think about what you can do better.

"But we have moved on well, we are in a great place as a squad, an exciting team and I think we are all just really excited to be back playing for England."

Gareth Southgate is eager to get Harry Maguire back in the England picture next month as the defender awaits a retrial.

Manchester United captain Maguire, along with two other defendants, was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts of bribery at a misdemeanours court last month following an incident involving police on the Greek island of Mykonos.

The 27-year-old, who has denied all charges against him, was given a suspended prison sentence, though he has appealed against the conviction, which, in accordance with Greek law, has therefore been nullified and a full retrial in a more senior court will now take place.

Maguire was initially named in the England squad for the forthcoming Nations League matches with Iceland and Denmark before being dropped, but Three Lions boss Southgate is hoping to welcome him back at the next opportunity.

With England facing Wales, Belgium and the return clash with Denmark in October, the 27-year-old former Leicester City star may not have to wait long.

"We have been in touch right the way through the last two and a half weeks. It's clearly been a really difficult period for him," said Southgate.

"The last few days have been important for him to be able to relax, get away from all the attention and get a rest, mentally get a rest.

"Of course he had a short break anyway but ... the events that happened in Greece really dominated that, so I think he needed that switch-off and he'll be able to go back to his club.

"Absolutely we would be looking to involve him in October."

Speaking last week to the BBC about the incident, Maguire said he feared for his life after claiming he and his friends came under attack from plain-clothed police.

"My initial thought was I thought we were getting kidnapped. We got down on our knees, we put our hands in the air," he said.

"They just started hitting us, they were hitting our legs, saying, 'My career's over. No more football. You won't play again'.

"At this point I thought there was no chance these were police. I don't know who they are, so I tried to run away. I was in that much of a panic, fear, scared for my life – all the way through it."

Lionel Messi would cause panic to spread quickly among Premier League defenders if he moves to the English top flight, according to Wolves captain Conor Coady.

Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has been heavily linked with a switch to Manchester City since informing Barcelona of his intention to leave the club last week.

Coady's brilliant form for Wolves has led to a maiden international call-up for England's forthcoming Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark.

Nevertheless, he is not too proud to admit being brought face to face with Messi would raise his pre-match anxiety levels.

"I'll be honest with you, I'd probably have a lot of panic before the game, trying to get my head around playing him," Coady chuckled as he spoke to reporters from England's St George's Park base.

"You can watch all the videos in the world to try and prepare for playing someone like him and you'd struggle.

"It would be amazing for the Premier League. We all know how big the Premier League is. He's his own man and he'll decide his own future. Let's see what happens."

The over-riding emotion right now for Coady is excitement, along with a palpable sense of pride.

The 27-year-old, who was sold by boyhood club Liverpool as a youngster, has made a persistent case for inclusion as one of Wolves' standout performers over the past two seasons.

"It’s amazing, it’s absolutely incredible. From the moment I got phone call on Saturday it's been a whirlwind," he said.

"It’s an honour to be here. The standard of training is incredible. It’s everything I thought and more."

Coady revealed England boss Gareth Southgate called him at an inopportune moment to deliver news of his international breakthrough.

"I was taking my little boy round to his friend's on our estate," he explained.

"My phone was going off in my pocket. I thought, I'll ring them back when I get home because I had the kids.

"Then I had a text saying Gareth Southgate's trying to ring you, so I picked the boys up and ran back to the house and my missus. My little boy missed 10 minutes of whatever it was, playing with his friends.

"My wife was excited. I rang the number back and it's a phone call I’ll never ever forget for the rest of my life. It was incredible, I was shaking."

England manager Gareth Southgate has backed Dean Henderson to remain at Manchester United and challenge David de Gea for the number one goalkeeping role.

Henderson has returned to Old Trafford after impressing on loan at Sheffield United last season, his exploits earning a new five-year contract in Manchester.

The 23-year-old, who has been included in Southgate's squad for England's Nations League fixtures against Iceland and Denmark, is in line to compete with United star De Gea for starting honours.

Southgate feels the time is right for Henderson to challenge himself at the Theatre of Dreams following two successful seasons with Sheffield United.

"I think it's an opportunity for him really, " Southgate said. "Of course, he could take another season out and gain another year of Premier League experience but at his age as a goalkeeper you can't just think about the international situation. 

"You are building a career and here's an opportunity to challenge for the shirt at Manchester United if they are asking him to stay in the building.

"If I was him and I had the chance to push to be the Manchester United number one, then I'd make the same decision he has. He's got the chance to train every day in front of the manager, to influence him and put David de Gea under pressure for his place.

"I think for his career it's a logical decision given the number of matches United will have next season."

Southgate's England will face Iceland on September 5 before clashing with Denmark three days later in a Group A2 doubleheader in the 2020-21 Nations League.

England have not played since their 4-0 rout of Kosovo in November due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harry Maguire has been withdrawn from the England squad for next month's Nations League matches.

The Manchester United captain was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts of bribery at a trial in Greece on Tuesday.

Maguire was tried alongside two other defendants on the island of Syros, following his part in an incident involving police while on holiday in Mykonos.

Maguire, who spent last Thursday and Friday night in custody, denied the charges but was convicted on all counts by a three-member misdemeanours court.

The centre-back maintains his innocence and Manchester United confirmed his legal team would appeal against the verdict after having a request for an adjournment denied.

Prior to the confirmation of the outcome of the trial, Maguire was included in Gareth Southgate's squad for the games against Iceland and Denmark.

The manager said he had no reason to doubt Maguire's account but hinted his involvement was subject to change depending on the outcome of the trial.

In a subsequent statement released through the Football Association, Southgate said: "In light of this evening's developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark. 

"As I said earlier today, I reserved the right to review the situation. Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made this decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for next week."

Yoannis Paradissis, the lawyer who assisted the prosecution in the case, told Sky News the victims were still awaiting an apology.

"The policemen I represent were just doing their job according to the procedures in place," said Paradissis.

"The defence team was accusing the policemen of police brutality and that they weren't doing their jobs correctly. That is why they tried to justify the assault that was done to the policemen.

"We are totally appalled by that. We say that it is an unsportsmanlike conduct and they would not give even a single apology.

"If they had said they were very sorry I do not think the matter would have arrived here.

"The Maguire brothers and the other accused did not ask [to make] an apology. On top of that, the accused for this kind of thing were brutal and violent to them [the police]."

He added: "I am angry because we have four young policemen that have no reason to say lies against Maguire. They didn't even know him, some of them.

"His defence team was accusing the policemen, that they didn't do their job correctly and this is why he acted how he acted.

"But, of course, this was not believed by the court, and the court – correctly in my opinion – convicted him on all charges.

"And what they are still waiting for is an apology, because they are appalled by his behaviour. He could be here, but he is not.

"In court his defence team did mention that he's a very famous role model. For me, the young policemen who were the victims of all of this, they think his conduct was totally unsportsmanlike. Not like a role model, definitely.

"And I think that to be sportsmanlike, when you do something wrong – which can happen – you say you are sorry and make an apology.

"Today, we have not heard a single apology from his party and this is what angers us more than anything else.

"We are still waiting for an apology. That's all they are waiting for."

A statement released by United read: "Manchester United notes the verdict of the Greek court.

"Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence. 

"It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare. A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied. 

"On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire's legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date."

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood's superb post-lockdown performances sealed their places in Gareth Southgate's England squad.

The Manchester City and Manchester United youngsters were handed their first senior call-ups, along with Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, when Southgate confirmed a 24-man party for next month's Nations League trips to Iceland and Denmark.

Five of Foden's six career Premier League goals came in the period immediately after the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, as the 20-year-old became an increasingly influential performer for Pep Guardiola's side.

Meanwhile, no teenager has ever scored more goals in a single season for United as Greenwood did across all competitions in 2019-20 – his 17 matching the exploits of club greats George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney.

"They've both been very impressive with our junior teams and they were excellent in the period immediately post-lockdown for their clubs," Southgate said.

"Both played big matches, important matches at big clubs and had a big impact.

"They have the potential to be England internationals for a long time to come.

"As always, that is up to them and their mentality and the way they play. But we have belief in them and we're really looking forward to working with them.

"If you're within football, you've known about these two boys for a long time."

Foden had to bide his time for regular action in a talent-stacked City squad, having made his debut from the bench as a 17-year-old in the Champions League against Feyenoord in November 2017.

"Phil, we've watched for a long time," Southgate said. "We felt at times last year that it was better for him to get football with our Under-21s.

"There were moments when he wasn't getting regular game time and we felt [playing for England U21s] was a good part of his development.

"But we've known that he was likely to be a player that would be involved with the England senior team and we feel that now is a good moment to do that."

Southgate conceded there had been an element of fast-tracking for the 18-year-old Greenwood, due to him making an irrefutable case through sheer weight of goals.

"If you'd said to me three or four months ago, we'd have probably been saying we know there's a high-quality player having a very good season, but maybe it's a bit too early to put him up to the senior team," he said

"But the reality is that his performances and his goalscoring have been so good that he's earned the right.

Southgate added: "They give us competition for places in the squad, they give us a high level of player and they can now go and grab that opportunity."

Kalvin Phillips said he would not mind if he makes just one England appearance following his surprise call-up for the Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark.

The 24-year-old has been an impressive presence at the heart of Leeds United's midfield for the past four seasons in the Championship and was instrumental in their promotion to the Premier League for the 2020-21 campaign.

Gareth Southgate's decision to call him up means Phillips could be the first Leeds United player to feature for England since Alan Smith in March 2004.

England travel to Iceland on September 5 before taking on Denmark in Copenhagen three days later and, while admitting he wants to feature for his country as many times as possible, Phillips concedes he will be a happy man even if he just plays once for the Three Lions.

"I'm over the moon," he told Sky Sports. "It's massive news for me, my family, and the club. I'm very happy and it's great to be given the opportunity.

"Gareth said he'd been tracking me for a while and liked the way I play. I wasn't expecting to get into the England squad before the season has even started; I thought it would take a while. Maybe I got lucky, I don't know!

"I'm a player that doesn't take anything for granted. Hopefully I'll do well and get as many games as possible. Even if it's one game, I don't mind!"

Southgate says he has been a long-time admirer of Phillips and believes he will provide healthy competition in the middle of the pitch for his side.

"He is a player we have watched a lot in the last 12 months with Leeds,” Southgate told a news conference.

"The position he plays is one where we need competition for places. It's an exciting moment for him.

"I spoke to him this morning, which was a nice reminder of what it means for somebody to be in their first England squad. It's a proud moment for him, his family and his club."

Gareth Southgate decided to include Harry Maguire in his England squad after hearing the Manchester United captain's version of the events that led to him standing trial in Greece.

Maguire was a subject of court proceedings on the Greek island of Syros on Tuesday, following his alleged part in an altercation with police while on holiday in Mykonos.

The 27-year-old spent last Thursday and Friday night in custody and denies all charges. He had the chance to speak to Southgate before being selected for next month's Nations League encounters with Iceland and Denmark.

The England manager hailed his first-choice central defender as "an outstanding character" within the national team set-up, and said he had no reason to doubt Maguire's account of last week's incident.

"It's clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that, in the end, I can only take on the information I have," Southgate told a news conference.

"I've spoken with Harry, I have insight to the story which is very different to what's been reported.

"In these instances, you can only make decisions based on facts that you're aware of. Now, clearly, if facts or information change further down the line, I have to review that decision.

"I have a fantastic relationship with the boy. Harry has been an outstanding character for us.

"I have no reason to doubt what he is telling me. It's important he knows that he's got my support at this moment."

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) have reportedly sought to secure the services of Leeds United central midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

The 24-year-old is fresh off playing a crucial role in the team’s successful bid to secure promotion to the English Premier League (EPL).  The Caribbean team are hoping to he can play a similar role in their bid to secure a return to the FIFA World Cup.  A feat they first accomplished in 1998.

Phillips is of Jamaican heritage and could quality to represent the county by virtue of the fact that his father is Jamaican.  The player has, however, also attracted the interest of his birth nation England, with his progress already being monitored by the team’s manager Gareth Southgate.

The Jamaican’s are currently in an eight-team final round World Cup qualification group, which will see three teams qualify directly to the tournament and another secure a play-off spot.  The JFF has already reportedly contacted Leeds asking for permission to sit down with Phillips and try to convince him to pick the Caribbean unit.  Phillips, who was born in Leeds, has never been selected to represent that Three Lions at any level and could have a tough time securing a spot in a talented England team.

England have announced a friendly against Wales at Wembley on October 8.

Gareth Southgate's side will take on their cross-border rivals behind closed doors in their first home game of 2020.

The last meeting between the two countries was in a group match at Euro 2016, when England secured a 2-1 victory courtesy of Daniel Sturridge's last-gasp goal.

After taking on Ryan Giggs' side, World Cup semi-finalists England face a Nations League double-header with home matches against Belgium and Denmark on October 11 and 14 respectively.

England will use the Wales fixture to stage a tribute to former internationals who have died in the past 12 months, including 1966 World Cup winners Jack Charlton, Martin Peters, Norman Hunter and Peter Bonetti.


Mason Greenwood took his Premier League tally to eight goals with a brace on Saturday and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped the Manchester United youngster for a future England call-up. 

The 18-year-old produced clinical finishes in either half as United thrashed Bournemouth 5-2 to move into the Premier League's top four. 

Only Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler have scored more Premier League goals in a season while aged 18 or younger and that trio all went on to feature for England on multiple occasions. 

Bradford-born Greenwood has represented his country at various youth levels, debuting for England Under-21s last September, and Solskjaer believes he is on track to make the step up to Gareth Southgate's senior side. 

Asked if he was "a future England striker", Norwegian Solskjaer told BBC Radio 5 live: "Definitely, if he keeps on developing. 

"We'll do our best to develop him. I'm just worried about him playing for Man United, not England. 

"There might be some Norwegian blood in there, I don't know! I don't think so." 

Solskjaer added of Greenwood: "[He's a] great talent, great finisher and he's learning more and more, growing more and more, [making] better and better decisions on and off the pitch. 

"He's an exceptional finisher, he can score right foot, left foot. If he can learn how to head a ball he'll be the complete striker." 

United are now unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions, a streak that dates back to a home loss to Burnley on January 22. 

This latest victory saw United displace Chelsea in fourth ahead of the Blues' game against Watford later on Saturday, yet Solskjaer insisted there is still a long way to go in the race for Champions League qualification. 

"I don't think anyone worries or cares about that now, we've got so many games left," he said. 

"Five games left - we know we have to focus on every single one of them at one time because you can only beat the team you're playing against. 

"The next one is [Aston] Villa, we'll have a good look at them tomorrow and recover and prepare for that one." 

Michael Mancienne believes more English players should follow the lead of Jadon Sancho in playing abroad to develop their game.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho has thrived since swapping Manchester City for regular first-team football in the Bundesliga.

After moving to Germany in 2017 and becoming an England international a year later, the 20-year-old has been heavily linked with a big-money move to the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.

Former Chelsea youngster Mancienne, now playing with New England Revolution having spent three seasons of his club career with Hamburg, feels it is a path that should be taken by talented prospects.

Despite the strength of the Premier League, Mancienne says players like Sancho can improve in other top European leagues if regular game time is proving tough to come by at home.

"Obviously Jadon Sancho is a great player and it is good to see English talent playing abroad," he said to Stats Perform News.

"Foreigners come to England all the time and it obviously seems like a normal thing. 

"I know the Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world but to go and get that experience of playing abroad is massive and it can make you a better player. 

"It can definitely help your career, especially for a young player struggling to break into their first team. 

"If you get the chance to go abroad I think that's massive and it can further your career."

Asked if more English players should go to the Bundesliga, he added: "Yeah most definitely, I think it is massive."

Mancienne won 30 England caps at Under-21 level earlier in his career.

He has praised manager Gareth Southgate for his work with the senior side, which he believes has been boosted by blooding youngsters like Sancho, who has 11 caps.

"I think [Gareth Southgate] has done a brilliant job," said Mancienne. "He came in and he changed a lot.

"People weren't sure if it was the right thing to do but giving younger players a chance to have that experience is only going to make them a better team and a better squad. 

"You saw Germany years ago, their U21 team that I played against in the U21 Euros, that team went on and won the World Cup. They trusted that team and they kept them together.

"It doesn't matter how old you are, young players need that experience if they want to improve.

"Southgate has been brilliant in pushing, not changing the team and making it younger, more vibrant and full of energy."

England manager Gareth Southgate feels UEFA's approach to tackling racist incidents in stadia is unacceptable and he would not hesitate to lead his team off the pitch if required in future.

The subject of racism in society has been at the fore of global discussion since George Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25. A police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes, sparking protests across the United States and beyond.

England players were subjected to racist abuse during Euro 2020 qualifiers in Montenegro in March 2019 and in Bulgaria last October.

UEFA's three-step procedure for tackling such incidents was initiated during the game in Sofia, with the match twice stopped and announcements made over the stadium's public address system.

The last resort would have been to abandon the match, and Southgate said he would be ready to ensure that step was followed if he found England in a similar situation again.

"It's a strange situation when you're on the side of the pitch, because there are times where you're really attuned to the noise and there are other times where there are obviously chants going on that you can't quite distinguish," Southgate told Sky Sports.

"And in Bulgaria there were moments where it was really clear, when Tyrone Mings had the ball, and I think we were waiting anyway for the situation. In Montenegro that wasn't so clear. We felt a bit underprepared in Montenegro, we didn't even know anything about the UEFA protocols at that time, so we took it upon ourselves over the next period to really prepare ourselves for that night in Bulgaria as a group of players and as a staff.

"We had a long discussion with the players days before the game regarding how they saw it, what they wanted the approach to be, that they were clear we were there to support, that we had the backing of the FA regarding whatever we thought was necessary, but there's also a requirement to follow the regulations as well. We're in a competition, we've got to follow some of those guidelines.

"So we were in a position we wanted and we did the right thing, not just to do something to be seen to be trying to be the heroes and make a stance if it wasn't necessary, but as the evening was going on there were moments in the first half where we didn't think we'd get through the game.

"We had a long discussion at half-time, bearing in mind it really dominated the thinking - thankfully we were well ahead in the game we didn't have to think about the match by that point - and the players were very clear had there been another incident in that second half we were prepared to walk.

"I've heard people say there was abuse in the second half. None of the players were conscious of that, we weren't conscious of that, a big section of the ground were evicted at half-time, so we didn't feel on the night that the next step was appropriate.

"We wouldn't hesitate to go to the next step if we were in that situation again, and I agree, I don't think the protocol of allowing people almost two free hits is really acceptable.

"I agree we've always got to get further and frankly when we're at the point where we're having to take action on the pitch it's gone too far anyway. The situation's got to be addressed before we even get into the stadiums, in society."

Southgate said he had not spoken to any of the Three Lions' black and minority ethnic players about Floyd's death because he knew where they stood on the matter, adding: "It's occupied a lot of my thinking over the past week."

After Raheem Sterling spoke of the need for greater black representation at the top level in the Premier League and FA, and Kick It Out's Troy Townsend criticised the lack of diversity in coaching positions, Southgate said the time has come for significant and sweeping changes.

"I think that's clear across every level of the game and every level of society," he said.

"People have spoken brilliantly this week, [Sport England board member] Chris Grant is somebody who I've met a number of times, has lectured me on a couple of courses and went on about the institutional racism he feels exists in sporting bodies and sporting governance. I think all of those areas are where we've got to focus our attention.

"This feeling that Troy spoke about that people feel there aren't the opportunities there so young black people will refrain from taking qualifications or getting themselves prepared because they feel there is a ceiling to what's possible.

"We need their voices in those decision-making areas and we need to show people the opportunities do exist and that's got to be at every level of the game."

Massimo Maccarone regrets turning down Giovanni Trapattoni to stay working with Gareth Southgate, describing the now England manager as "big talks, no facts".

Former Italy striker Maccarone spent four years as a team-mate of Southgate's at Middlesbrough, before playing his final six months at the Riverside Stadium under the tutelage of his former captain.

Maccarone had found himself out of favour under former boss Steve McLaren but was convinced to stay when Southgate took over ahead of the 2006-07 season.

But Maccarone made just one Premier League start and seven top-flight appearances in total before leaving for Siena in the January transfer window.

Southgate, who oversaw Boro's relegation in the 2008-09 campaign, has earned plenty of praise for his work with England, who he led to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018.

However, Maccarone was disappointed with his own personal treatment.

"I played the last seasons of his career with him and as a player he has always been correct, kind, humble," he told Stats Perform. 

"As a manager, though, I didn't like very much what he did to me. Besides I had already had some quarrels with his predecessor, Steve McLaren, another one who has managed England, when I reacted berating him a lot and then in hindsight I understood I had made some mistakes myself too. 

"But not with Southgate who talked me a lot into staying at Middlesborough, promising I would have played a lot since he knew well what had happened to me the season before. 

"But then, nothing even if we made seven points in the first six games. Big talks, no facts."

If things had played out differently, Maccarone could have been playing for Salzburg under Trappatoni, the man who had given him his Italy debut.

"When I was in England he was managing Salzburg in Austria," he added. 

"He had called me for one month to convince me to join him there but I still had a one year contract with Middlesborough and I wanted to prove myself there after a negative season despite some sparks in the UEFA Cup. 

"So I stayed with Southgate at Middlesborough when Trapattoni had made my dream of playing for Italy come true."

Asked if that is a decision he now regrets, Maccarone replied: "In hindsight yes. 

"But Southgate had been my team-mate and captain for four years. He kept telling me, 'I can't understand why [McLaren] doesn't let you play' but then when he became the manager he truncated my career at Boro.

"I said no to Trapattoni for Southgate but I should have done the opposite."

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