World Cup 2010: English exiting Europe is a blessing, says John Terry
Arsenal were soundly beaten by Barcelona and Manchester United exited on away goals to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, while Terry's Chelsea were beaten at the last-16 stage by Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan. But, with the European showpiece scheduled for Madrid on May 22, Terry says the extra preparation time gained by Premier League clubs' failure to progress will aid Fabio Capello's England squad. "We can take a very strong positive out of the fact no English clubs have made it through this season," Terry told the Sun. "It's disappointing there won't be an English club in the final because it's the biggest game you can play in for your club. But England meet up in Austria on May 17 and the Champions League final is five days later. "Had one of our teams got to the final the squad would have had some very notable absentees for what is a big phase of our preparation. "Now we will all be together and can get some good solid grounding in as a whole. I'm sure from that perspective Mr Capello is happy." England will prepare for the World Cup 2010 at altitude in Austria before meeting Mexico at Wembley on May 24. Their final World Cup warm-up is against Japan in Graz, Austria, on May 30 before their Group C campaign begins against the United States in Rustenburg on June 12. One player Terry hopes to avoid in the World Cup finals is Barca's in-form Argentina forward Lionel Messi. Messi has been in imperious form this season and scored all four goals as the Catalan club routed Arsenal at the Nou Camp on Tuesday. "I think the best way to deal with Messi is to let our left-back Ashley Cole try to tackle him and I just stay in the middle somewhere," joked Terry, who was stripped of the England captaincy in February. "He is so good - incredible and unplayable at times. If he comes inside at any time you need two men to double up on him. "You can't get near him in a one-on-one. I was really impressed with him this week and he is a special talent, especially when he is performing at the Nou Camp."
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