Exclusive: Man City Star Gareth Barry Talks World Cup 2014, Beckham and NYC FC

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 23, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14:  Gareth Barry of Manchester City celebrates victory in the FA Cup with Budweiser Semi Final match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on April 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Gareth Barry and his Manchester City teammates are in New York City preparing for a postseason friendly against Chelsea

The two clubs are playing two friendlies this week, the second of which is being played at historic Yankee Stadium. When I sat down with Barry in midtown Manhattan I asked him to share his thoughts on City's past season, his England hopes and the launch of New York City FC, a new MLS franchise owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees.

Joe Tansey: You and your Manchester City teammates are in New York City preparing for a friendly against Chelsea at Yankee Stadium, how has America treated you so far? 

Gareth Barry: It's different for the players. Once the season is finished, it is usually time for holidays. The people in New York are so friendly and they have treated us so warm, we are looking to playing two good games here.

JT: The match is being playing at Yankee Stadium, which is one of the hallowed grounds in American sports. Has it resonated in the City camp how historic the stadium is over here and can it compare to the likes of Old Trafford and Wembley Stadium in England.

GB: The players have spoke about it, it is going to be a big honor to play in a stadium as famous as Yankee Stadium. 

JT: What are your thoughts on the brand-new partnership between Manchester City and the Yankees in the formation of New York City FC? 

GB: Everyone in England can see the progression that MLS is making,  Every year it seems to get bigger and bigger.I think this next step is just another step to where it wants to be. It is a massive step for both teams.

JT: Would you ever consider taking the David Beckham route and ending your career?

GB: Of course, you can never rule anything out, With the league getting bigger and bigger, it is something that is brought up in conversations across the Barclays Premier League. The players who have made the move seem to enjoy their football. Me personally, I would never rule it out, if the opportunity arose, it would be something that would definitely be considered.

JT: Most people would consider finishing second place a success but in Manchester City's case, it resulted in the sacking of Roberto Mancini. What was the mood like in the dressing room after the season ended? 

GB: I think because of last season, the target was obviously to retain the Premier League title. we were slightly disappointed to finish second. It shows where the club are at right now and the progression we have made. We want to be winning the league every year, second is not that bad but we want to get it back next season.

JT: Is there something that the current crop of players would like to see in terms of a new manager and new players at the club this summer?

GB: I think anything that will make the team and the club go forward,if that means a new manager and new players coming in to the club, then that's fantastic. To have success, you need competition.

JT: You played with Aston Villa  earlier in your career, did you keep track of their relegation battle this season?

GB: Yeah, of course. I spent 12 years at Aston Villa, it was a big part of my life, a lot of my friends are still in Birmingham. Their's is the first result I look at besides our own. It was pretty close but they finished the season in great form and they deserved to stay up.

JT: Manchester City and Chelsea both have a foreign presence on the roster. A lot has been made in recent years about the FA developing English talent. Is there something that you would want to help along the further development of English players so that they can break into the EPL? 

GB: I think its something that could be looked at. For a young English player, it is harder than ever now to break into the Premier League and play for the top English clubs. A lot of foreign-born players have boosted the quality of the league and it is a tough time for English players, maybe some changes can be to help the national team itself.

JT: From being a member of the England squad, what do you see the Three Lions doing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, have any expectations been set for Brazil at all? 

GB: With England, our group is tough to qualify out of and that is the first goal before we go to Brazil. There are some big games ahead for England and it will be a tough battle to qualify.

JT: With the Yankees partnership, it has been mentioned that the Yankees would play a match at the Etihad. How would a big team like the Yankees and the sport of baseball be received in Manchester if this were to happen?

GB: The Yankees are a massive brand all over the world. If something like that were to happen, it would be amazing. Nothing like that has ever happened before and I'm sure it would get a lot of attention. 

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