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Page last updated at 08:33 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 09:33 UK

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora admits World Cup heartache

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora
Zamora played through the pain barrier in the Europa League final

Bobby Zamora has described the Achilles tendon injury that has ended his World Cup dreams as "a kick in the teeth".

England manager Fabio Capello was set to include the 29-year-old Fulham striker in the provisional 30-man squad he named for this summer's finals.

But despite starting Wednesday's Europa League final, in which the Cottagers were beaten 2-1 by Atletico Madrid, Zamora faces surgery.

"I knew I wouldn't have done myself or England justice had I gone," he said.

"It was a joint decision between myself, Capello, Fulham's medical team and England's medical team. The World Cup is a massive tournament. It's not about myself, it's about England.

"Capello wished me all the best, hoped that I get fit and would be available next season. It's one of those things, it has come at a bad time and the last five weeks have been terrible for me.

"It's been an up and down season because it's been so good on the pitch and I've scored some important goals. To now pick up this injury has kicked me in the teeth. It's come during the last couple of weeks and when there was the possibility of going to the World Cup with England.

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"That's football, it's a cruel game."

England already have fitness concerns surrounding former skipper John Terry (foot) and Gareth Barry (ankle), while Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Glen Johnson have all suffered problems in the latter stages of the season.

And Zamora was not willing to add to Capello's injury headaches.

The Cottagers forward was clearly off the pace in the heart-breaking 2-1 extra-time defeat to Atletico Madrid in Hamburg before he was substituted on 55 minutes.

"I was struggling but I was desperate to play," he added. "It was touch and go for me to make the final but it's a major tournament and I've worked all season to get there so I wanted to play some part.

"I'm going to weigh everything up with the medical team now but it looks like I might need a minor operation.

"The decision will be made over the next day or two but the operation is pencilled in for a week's time."



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see also
Terry '100% fit' for FA Cup final
13 May 10 |  Chelsea
Capello names surprise Cup squad
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Barry faces race to prove fitness
26 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Rooney out for two to three weeks
02 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
Beckham targets comeback after op
16 Mar 10 |  Football
World Cup scouting: centre-backs
23 Mar 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football
Ferdinand dismisses fitness fears
17 Dec 09 |  Man Utd


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