Bellamy not relishing Cardiff renaissance

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Craig Bellamy is not looking forward to the prospect of taking on home-town club Cardiff City in this weekend's Carling Cup final.

The Liverpool striker spent last season on loan with the Bluebirds, scoring 11 goals in the Championship, but after netting twice in the Reds' Carling Cup run, he will stand face-to-face with the club he followed as a boy.

Such are his links with his former side, that Bellamy insists he won't celebrate if he scores in the showcase final at Wembley.

“It will be strange situation as it’s the first time I’ve ever played against them,” said Bellamy.

“It’s not something I’ve looked forward to doing, to be honest. My father’s a big Cardiff fan and it’s the club I used to go to when I was very young. I set one ambition in my life to play for them, and I was able to do that. I fulfilled a dream playing there.

“I certainly won’t celebrate if I score. I tried not to against Man City, I tried to hold myself back. Really I didn’t celebrate that much, but in the occasion and the moment you get a little bit carried away.

“I have no aspirations of celebrating. But I have to be on the pitch first and foremost before I think about scoring.”

If victorious, Bellamy would pick up his first medal in English football, despite having plied his trade with eight different Football League sides during a 16-year professional career.

However, the Wales international doesn't believe winning trophies has a direct impact on having a successful career, and maintains that this season's priority is qualifying for the Champions League, rather than claiming a piece of silverware.

“Honestly, if I win, I win. If I don’t, I don’t," Bellamy added. "I will not lose one second of sleep over it. Not one.

“I have enjoyed my career, I’ve had a great career. Is my career defined by trophies? No. I’m very fortunate to play this game, I’ve achieved more than I set out to achieve.

“I know people might not understand when I say that I’m not a failure if I don’t win trophies. Far from it. I’ve gone in with that attitude over the last few months and it’s amazing I’ve got through to a final straight away. I’m going to carry on that approach.”

“The season isn’t over for either of us whoever wins or loses,” he claimed.

“Cardiff have got promotion to go for and we still have qualification for the Champions League to go for and the FA Cup. We both still have so much to play for.

“Would we chose Champions League qualification over winning the Carling Cup? I think we would. Would Cardiff chose getting in the Premier League over winning the Carling Cup? I think they would as well.

“The top four is our main focus this season and the cup competitions are a bonus. Maybe a win might push us forward, but if we don’t, then we still have a lot to play for.”

In addition, Bellamy believes that while Liverpool have shown sheer quality in knocking out the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in their run to the final, their bold selection policy means they are deserving of their place in Sunday's final.

“People talk about this competition not being the strongest but the teams we have played have been strong. Stoke away, they put out a strong team. Chelsea, they were strong at Stamford Bridge. Man City over two legs, did they play the best players they had available? Of course they did.

“We have earned the right to be in this final. For us, we have attacked this competition and hopefully we can finish it off in the final.”

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Stoke City
Manchester City
League Cup
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Cardiff City
UEFA Champions League
FA Cup

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