England defender John Terry cannot wait for his first-ever
TheFA.com Exclusive: England defender John Terry cannot wait for his first-ever start for his country tonight...
The Chelsea defender has been hugely impressive at the heart of Claudio Ranieri's back four so far in this fledgling season and he'll look to transfer that form to the international stage at Portman Road.
"Tonight's game will be the biggest of my career without a doubt," he told TheFA.com after Sven had informed him of his selection.
"I got on against Serbia and Montenegro which was great but to start a game for my country is the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition.
"I will have a few nerves, just as I did on Saturday when I was waiting to see if I'd been named in the squad itself. But nerves are a good thing. They show you're on your toes not complacent."
John will line up alongside one of the players he most respects tonight: Rio Ferdinand.
"I've said before how highly I rate Rio - I'm always watching him on television to see if there's something I can take from his game to add to mine," he says.
"I'm really looking forward to partnering him in central defence. Our styles should suit each other. I think we're both strong in the air and comfortable with the ball at our feet."
If it's true to say that the more comfortable you feel off the pitch, the better you tend to perform on it, we can hopefully look forward to a good performance from John tonight. After all, with his Chelsea team-mates Frank Lampard, Wayne Bridge and Joe Cole all there to keep him company this week, it's been something of a second home for John.
"It always helps to have players you know around you - on and off the pitch," says John. "It's great to have all the Chelsea players in the squad.
"If you think back a few years, Dennis Wise was the only Englishman playing for Chelsea, now there's quite a few of us. You've got to give Claudio Ranieri credit for that. When he came in he said he wanted to get more Englsih players and that's exactly what he's done."
John Terry was talking to Dan Freedman