Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry was delighted to hear the news that he was included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2012 whilst enjoying a game of golf with James Milner.
The duo played an integral role in helping the Citizens claim a first English top-flight title in 44 years, beating Manchester United on goal difference courtesy of injury-time goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero.
The domestic campaign is now in the back of Barry’s mind however, as thoughts turn to this summer’s efforts with the national team in Poland and Ukraine.
"Yeah. It is fantastic news (to be in the England squad). We found out that me and James (Milner) were both in the squad so it's good news today. A new manager - so it is nice to be in his plans to start with," he said after finishing his round at the Finca Cortesin golf course.
With 52 caps and three goals to his name, Barry is one of the senior campaigners in the Three Lions setup, with the former Aston Villa midfielder experiencing both highs and lows whilst on international duty at major tournaments.
He recognises that expectation levels are low ahead of the first match against France on June 11th though, and believes this could work in the nation’s favour as they enter the competition as an underdog under new management.
"Yeah. In terms of previous tournaments, I think the expectation levels are a lot lower which I am hoping will help the team. As you say, it's a new manager who is not going to have the ideal amount of time to get to know the players and get his ideas across,” he added.
“But we have got a week to ten days off now where we can relax and hopefully go into the tournament (Euro 2012) more fresh than previous ones."