Forgotten one-cap England international once dubbed ‘next Cafu’ was forced to retire at 29 and now runs a summer camp

JON FLANAGAN was dubbed the “next Cafu” before he was forced to retire at 29.

The former Liverpool defender now runs a football summer camp alongside an ex-Reds team-mate.

Getty Images – GettyJon Flanagan was dubbed the ‘next Cafu’ before retiring at 29[/caption]

Flanagan came through the academy at Anfield before making 51 first-team appearances, scoring once from right-back.

It was his displays for the club which attracted the attention of Brazil legend Cafu.

The two-time World Cup winner told LFCTV in 2014: “I first started hearing about him by watching Premier League matches and observing his performance along with other players.

“I then started seeing some news saying he is the Red Cafu! So there’s nothing better than coming to the city and taking a picture with my successor.

“He is a good player; still young and developing, but already gaining recognition at Liverpool and he might even have an opportunity with the English national team. He’ll be a great English player in the future.

“He has speed, strength and determination. He’s an athlete who goes after it and never gives it up. That’s exactly what I used to do; there were no missing chances for me, no tiredness and no being dejected.

“I see that style in him too. I hope he continues that way and achieves as many trophies as I did.”

However, injuries hampered Flanagan’s career, with the full-back sidelined for 18 months just weeks after making his England debut.


GettyFlanagan now runs his own football summer camp[/caption]

His injuries ultimately meant he failed to add to his one cap for the Three Lions, which came off the bench against Ecuador in 2014.

Instead, Flanagan had loan spells at Burnley and Bolton before leaving Liverpool for Rangers in 2018.

Brief spells in Belgium and Denmark would follow, but after undergoing knee surgery, Flanagan announced his retirement last year aged just 29.

He has since gone on to start a new venture, though, launching Jon Flanagan Elite Football Camps earlier this summer.

Alongside ex-Liverpool team-mate Adam Morgan, Flanagan runs his own football summer camp for kids aged four to 14.

Flanagan could even have a future in management down the line, having already secured a UEFA coaching licence.

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