“I like the responsibility that comes with being captain. When my team-mates aren’t pulling their weight I raise the intensity of their performance with encouragement, and when they’re getting carried away I calm them down.
If a team-mate is on the verge of getting sent off because he’s flying into tackles, I do my best to pacify him. I talk calmly and walk him away from the situation. They leave it to me to address the referee if they feel something needs to be communicated.
More after the break
We are footballers, not ballet dancers. As in any other walk of life, you have people who play dirty and you have to be aware of that. It can get rough; it can get unsporting. When someone steps over the line with their behaviour, I speak to the referee about it.
I think I manage to keep things under control both on and off the pitch. We are a collective, a team – not 25 individuals just gathered together.”