IRISH RUGBY CAPTAIN Brian O’Driscoll says he will not interfere with the decision of his friend Damien Duff to retire from international football.
Speaking to TheScore.ie, O’Driscoll declared that Duff had rediscovered the form that made him a Champions League star with Chelsea but he does not foresee the 33-year-old coming back to play for Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers.
When asked if he was tempted to have a word with the Fulham midfielder, O’Driscoll responded, “No, I think Duffer’s his own man.
“He’s got a young family and he’s content I think, he also has a new lease of life the way he’s playing for Fulham at the moment with, not the shackles of international football… ”
Duff has scored three goals in seven outings for Martin Jol’s side this season and returned for the 2012/13 season looking leaner than ever. O’Driscoll commented:
Yeah, I’ve seen him with the top off and I can imagine why there’s only 4% (body fat) there. He’s a very, very… He’s a guy who’s incredibly professional.
“I’ve spent a little bit of time in the past with him on down time and he’s still a serious pro in that period.
“He loves his football and he says himself he’ll be playing when he’s 38, 39 he just doesn’t know for who.”
O’Driscoll showing off his soccer skills in 2007. (©INPHO/James Crombie)
Speaking about a possible Duff comeback earlier in the week, Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni said he respected Duff’s decision to step back from the international game to prolong his club career.
Trapattoni said the prospect of a return was raised once with Duff after his goalscoring start to the season but it was politely and respectfully rejected.