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Gary Cahill was scared he would miss the World Cup, having briefly lost his spot in the Chelsea squad. However, he returned to the team and had a good final phase of the season with the Blues and put in very good performances that earned him a recall to the national team.

Cahill, who has 58 caps for his country, missed a phone call from national team boss Gareth Southgate to tell him he was part of the squad for the tournament and instead found out via voicemail.

The Chelsea skipper admitted he was nervous about the call.

“I missed the call – he left a voicemail just to say it’s not always bad news when the England manager phones up,” said Cahill.

“I thought potentially it could be bad news because in my experience of being involved with England for seven or eight years, you usually don’t get the call. You just receive the information that you’re going to meet up and what times.

“So to get the call a different way, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous when I was listening to it but I was delighted to be involved in another tournament for my country.”

Cahill missed crucial games against Manchester United and Manchester City in March which coincided with Southgate leaving him out of the national squad for friendlies later in the month, and at that point, Cahill thought it was over for him.

He added: “I felt like [my World Cup chances] had taken a knock, missing out on that squad, especially that last squad just before you meet up. It was kind of a big squad to miss out on.

“I realised I really had to dig deep to try to perform from there until the end of the season to get myself back in the frame.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.