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Capello: 'Door always open' for Bridge in World Cup

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Capello: 'Door is always open'
  • England team boss tell CNN he hopes Wayne Bridge will still play in World Cup
  • Bridge declared himself unavailable for England team on Thursday
  • John Terry sacked as England captain amid allegations of affair with Bridge's ex-partner
  • Bridge: Position in squad now "untenable and potentially divisive"

London, England (CNN) -- England team boss Fabio Capello told CNN Thursday he still hopes Wayne Bridge will play in the World Cup despite the footballer's decision to make himself unavailable for England after recent allegations about his personal life.

Earlier this month, John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy by Capello following tabloid allegations of a marital infidelity with the former partner of ex-Chelsea teammate Bridge.

In a statement released to Britain's Press Association Thursday, Bridge said his position in the squad was now "untenable and potentially divisive."

But Capello said in an exclusive interview with CNN on Thursday that Bridge, who now plays for Manchester City, could still play. "I'm flying when Bridge announced that he would not stay with us for the next game against Egypt, also for the future, in the World Cup, and that surprised me ..."

"I respect the decision of the players but the door for him is always open," Capello said.

"We have time, three months before my last squad for the World Cup. I hope that Wayne Bridge will be with us at the World Cup but I respect the decision of the player."

The 29-year-old defender played alongside Terry at Chelsea until early 2009 when he moved north to join Manchester City.

However both players looked set for a tense reunion on Wednesday when England play a friendly international against Egypt.

The two players were also likely to be selected for the World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Fabio Capello to read riot act to England squad

"Sadly, for the sake of the team and what would be inevitable distractions, I have decided not to put myself forward for selection," said Bridge.

"I have thought long and hard about my position in the England football team in the light of the reporting and events over the last few weeks and have today informed the management of this decision.

"I wish the team all the best in South Africa."

Interestingly Bridge, who recently returned from injury, and Terry will face each other as opponents on Saturday when their respective clubs meet in the English Premier League.

Bridge's teammate goalkeeper Shay Given would not be drawn on the controversy but told reporters that the left-back was in good frame of mind for the crunch encounter.

"He is fine, Wayne Bridge is totally fine and he is looking forward to the game on Saturday and hopefully getting a good result for Manchester City, that's the most important thing," said the Irishman.

Chelsea go into the match top of the English Premier League, with City in the battle for the fourth and final Champions League place.