England and Chelsea FC centerback Gary Cahill has missed out on the last two major tournaments but he spoke to The Guardian about how he is relishing his chance to finally shine at the World Cup. Cahill missed the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after doctors discovered a blood clot in his chest and had to remove a rib in order to remove the clot. He was not guaranteed a spot on the plane but the injury kept him from even being considered.
Cahill then missed out on Euro 2012 in Russia and Ukraine after breaking his jaw in a nasty collision with Joe Hart in a friendly against Belgium. He was shoved while running full speed in to Hart by Belgium’s Dries Mertens and the collision knocked him out of the squad. This time however he was a shoo-in for one of the centerback positions and he would have partnered with his Chelsea teammate John Terry in the tournament.
Gary Cahill on his first chance to play in a major tournament and how far he has come:
“I can’t think about the Belgium injury. That was bad luck as I was about to get on the plane. But the fact this is my first tournament does make it all more special. I have waited a long time to get here. I’d been an outside shot before the blood clot at the previous World Cup, then I was one game away from the Euros. I wondered: ‘Is this not for me or something?’ So to be involved now is massive. Not long ago I wasn’t really in the frame, or was grafting to get in the squad. Now I feel a big part of it, which is pleasing. It shows how far I’ve come.
I’ve worked on my game, listened to people and taken advice on board. I’ve taken bits from each manager I’ve worked under, and from top players who have been there and done it. Positionally, reading the game, I’ve come on a lot. That’s one of my strengths now, where I’ve most improved.
But it’s all about concentration levels. In international football the pace can be a lot slower than in the Premier League, which is right up there in terms of its tempo. You don’t have too much time on the ball at club level, but in international football there is a step up in players. You are playing against the best in the world. I’ve played games where I’ve come off at the end and thought I was unbelievable out there for 87 minutes and then, all of a sudden, I’ve switched off once or a cross has come in and they’ve scored. That wrecks your whole game. You can’t just forget about it. It goes through my head, I replay incidents like that a lot, and you want to go straight back out and play the next game. It’s about learning, about concentrating.”
Source: The Guardian
Gary Cahill has come a long way since he made the move from Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea in 2012 for just £7 million. He has grown from an above average centerback to one of the best defenders in the Premier League. His leadership and poise in England and Chelsea’s backline have made him a contender for the captain’s armband in both squads and he is ready to finally show the world what he is capable of on the biggest stage in football.
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