Bellamy ‘ashamed’ to be a footballer

Manchester City star Craig Bellamy has launched a scathing attack on his fellow professionals by saying he is "ashamed" to be a footballer.

The striker, speaking in an interview with a French magazine, said he did not feel close to his colleagues because they lived a different lifestyle to him.

And the 30-year-old revealed he had no time for players who did not give their all in matches.

Quoted in the News of the World, Bellamy said: "I don’t feel close to footballers. Sometimes when I see certain things I’m ashamed to be a footballer.

"I don’t go to nightclubs, I don’t go to lounge bars, I don’t spend my days shopping. That doesn’t interest me. I spend a lot of time with my children at home. That’s where I feel good."

He added: "I don’t know how to be on the pitch as a tourist. Some lads do that but I can’t. When I play, I play for real. I never pretend.

"I know I get carried away by emotion. I have always been like that. I don’t give a toss whether that pleases people or not. I do my thing. What counts for me is the respect of my family, people who know me, my manager and my team-mates."

Bellamy has courted controversy throughout his career both on and off the pitch, with his latest storm following remarks about John Terry’s private life.

The Welshman has enjoyed a successful season with City, though, bagging 11 goals and providing a spearhead to Roberto Mancini’s front line as the club attempt to wrap up a top four spot.

But Bellamy’s future at Eastlands looked in doubt in January following the dismissal of Mark Hughes, who Bellamy played under during his time at Blackburn.

The striker has since settled under Mancini’s reign – although he admitted he does not see many prospects for his career emerging if he remains at the Blues.

"New players are coming in a few months and I might be overtaken," he said. "I don’t see myself playing for City in two or three years, lifting trophies."

Bellamy’s high-octane displays have become his trademark, however, at 31, the ex-Norwich man feels his cut-and-thrust approach may dwindle as he approaches the later stages of his career.

He added: "It’s going to stop quickly. My body won’t hold up for a long time. I’ll soon be 31 and that will quickly become a problem. I won’t be able to play at my best any more and I will stop playing.

"I have had seven knee operations in the last nine years. I can’t string three games a week together. My body does not allow me to play all the time."