Former Chelsea assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins believes John Terry's international retirement will be a "massive loss" to England.
The 31-year-old has called time on his Three Lions career, less than 24 hours before the Football Association hearing into alleged racial abuse towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand - charges denied by Terry.
Terry accused the FA of making his position "untenable" in a statement on Sunday evening, and Wilkins reckons Roy Hodgson will find it hard to replace the Chelsea skipper in the heart of England's defence.
"He's an outstanding player and in the dressing room he's an outstanding character," Wilkins said on Sky Sports News. "On the pitch he does what the manager requires and that's to lead from the front.
"[Former England manager] Fabio Capello had a massive fall-out with the FA over John because he realised how important he was to our national team.
"I feel very sad for Roy Hodgson in that Roy made it pretty evident he wanted John to be there and be his centre-half. We've got to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil and this is a massive blow.
"It's a massive loss. You will see the loss it will be when John finally has to hang up his boots for Chelsea. To replace a character who has been in that dressing room for such a long period - and has performed at such a consistent level for that period - is very, very difficult indeed."
Wilkins added: "We have loads of options, loads of very good young footballers coming through, and also Rio Ferdinand doing a very good job at Manchester United.
"But do we have the character of John Terry within these people I'm talking about? My answer to that is probably, 'no, we don't', because he doesn't only care about his own performance - he cares about other people's performances as well.
"I don't think we've got the characters about now like John Terry."
what do you think?
lets hope ferdinand goes the same way,england will miss a great player in terry.good luck jt.
I was at the Spurs/Chelsea game at Christmas as a surprise for the wife (spurs fan). And was gobsmacked the abuse JT got from the home fans. His mum and dad and him were getting a lot of abuse. The c word was a joke and everything else that went with it. Problem is when someone has a chip (well rock) on the shoulder and needs the limelight like the Ferdinands this will never go away. Racism is a horrible word, you might have an opinion of a person or a disagreement. You try to have a discussion about it and your labelled a racist, then your having to defend yourself rather then discuss your opinion.