Stephen Ireland has said that he has no regrets about turning his back on the Republic of Ireland.
Instead of helping his country in their efforts to reach next year's FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa by beating France in a play-off, Ireland has been in Abu Dhabi this week. He will be one of the few senior players on show when Manchester City tackle the United Arab Emirates in what, thanks to the Blues' links with the country, is set to become an annual fixture.
Yet Ireland is experiencing no sense of loss. Nor does he feel he made the wrong decision, which came about in a slightly rash manner when he incorrectly claimed his grandmother had died two years ago, then, when it was discovered she was alive and well, promptly switched grandmothers, only for her to pop up as well.
I only do things I am 100 per cent certain of and there is no way I am going back.
"I have no regrets, none at all," he said. "I would not have retired if I thought I would have any regrets. I only do things I am 100 per cent certain of and there is no way I am going back.
"I have not even thought twice about it. I am happy with my young family and my main priority are them and the club. I will watch the games and I want the players to win but they have done so well without me, there is not a lot of point in going back."
And, according to the 23-year-old, Republic coach Giovanni Trapattoni does not have any great desire to have him back either. The pair did have a discussion about the situation. However, as Ireland revealed, it was more to do with putting on a united front to the outside world rather than any gentle persuasion on Trapattoni's part.
"I do not think he actually wanted me to go back," said Ireland. "I think it was more for him to cover his own back with the press. The basic conversation we had was about the press and how he could talk to the press about me, rather than actually genuinely wanting me back. But I am quite happy with that because I wouldn't have wanted any adverse pressure either."