Nelsen pondering Kiwis future
The defender was one of the surprise successes of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ after leading the All Whites through an incredible campaign. Although New Zealand failed to make it out of the group stage, in drawing all three games, they were the only team to leave South Africa unbeaten.
Nelsen himself was outstanding and drew huge amounts of praise for his superb performance in the jaw-dropping draw against Italy in Nelspruit. But now the dust has settled the 32-year-old wants to take some time to work out whether his body can stand the long trips home to represent his country.
"I don't want to make any rash decisions because I will be a long time retired," said the Blackburn star. "I needed a bit of time to think through what I am going to do.
"I am not getting any younger but I love playing for New Zealand and the whole World Cup experience has left such a positive impact. New Zealand has got a lot of really good, promising young players coming through and it is quite fun, as an older player, helping these guys to progress."
Nelsen has never made any secret of the draining effect flying halfway round the world and back again in the space of a week has on his body. After Blackburn spent part of their pre-season in Australia, Sam Allardyce is now aware of what it is like too and Nelsen is expecting some quiet advice from his manager.
"Now the manager has done one of those longer trips he will probably be knocking on my door asking me to retire," smiled Nelsen.
If Nelsen did decide to call it a day, at least he would have the memories of this summer to look back on, and a place in New Zealand football folklore. Not that he has spent too much time thinking about it, nor does he want the achievements to stand alone.
"It was obviously an amazing experience," he said. "During it you don't really enjoy it because it is pressure. It is intense and everybody is watching. Afterwards when you sit back and think about it, it is something that will live long in the memory.
"But in all honesty, I hope people aren't talking about it forever," he added. "We have got some excellent young players and I hope in four years time we better it. That is the goal. That is the standard this team has set. It is a really high standard. Now it has to be bettered."