Carragher turned down England approach

LONDON: Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher revealed Friday that he turned down an invitation from Fabio Capello to return to the England team.

Carragher, 31, won 34 caps for his country but announced his international retirement in the summer of 2007.

But after being encouraged by club captain Steven Gerrard he initially agreed to meet Capello's assistant Franco Baldini, but changed his mind at the last moment.

Carragher told The Times: "I was supposed to meet Franco Baldini for a chat a year ago and at the last minute I pulled out.

"It was more out of courtesy that I was going to do it. Stevie had mentioned it to me a couple of times, so I agreed to the meeting, but at the last minute I just didn't want to do it.

"I don't think my situation would change if I got back in the squad. John Terry and Rio Ferdinand are first choice and they are two of the best central defenders in the world.

"Maybe I would have won 10 more caps over the last couple of years because Rio and John have missed a few games, but you couldn't ask for a better centre-half pairing than those two going into the World Cup." Carragher also said he would rather leave Liverpool than play for them when he is past his best.

"I wouldn't want to get to 34 or 35 with Liverpool and have people thinking, 'He's well gone."' he added.

"So I do think about whether it would be better to go while I'm still at a decent level and play out my days at another club.

"Over the next year or two I'll probably have a decision to make. I'd love to stay at Liverpool - that's what I want to do - but there are different things that I think about that may compromise that."