No nerves for captain Chalobah
Friday, 01 July, 2011
Cool defender delighted with deserved win over Argentina.
By James Marshall in Pachuca
England captain Nathaniel Chalobah spoke to TheFA.com about his joy of getting through to the Quarter Final of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico.
The inspirational skipper put in a dominant performance in defence against Argentina, and then calmly stepped up to take the winning penalty in the shoot-out to send his team through to the last eight of the competition, where they will now play Germany on Monday.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win the game and score the winning penalty," he admitted after the game. "It is a great honour to captain my country and the boys showed a lot of pride to win today.
“We started the game really well, so going a goal down was a set-back but we kept our heads up, kept to our game and we got the breakthrough and I think that was the crucial part in the result today.”
Asked on whether he was nervous stepping up to take the winning penalty in a nail-biting shoot-out, Chalobah said he was always confident in his ability after multiple penalty shoot-out practices in training sessions, stretching all the way back to the squad's time at the European Championship Finals in Serbia.
“I wasn’t that nervous when I stepped up to take penalty, we have been practising them a lot in training," he explained.
"And I knew if I kept my composure and had the right body language walking up to the spot, I had every chance of scoring.”
The Chelsea youngster was outstanding alongside his centre-half partner Sam Magri and was unlucky not to score in normal time with a free-kick which tested the Argentine goalkeeper Bruno Galvan.
Now, England face Germany in the Quarter Final on Monday and Chalobah suggested that if he side play their own game they have a real chance of beating Steffen Freund's side in the next round.
“Germany will be a tough game, but I feel we are improving with every game we play," he added.
"If we stick to our game plan and play the way we have done in the last four games, I’m confident we can get the result.”