'It was weird': Callum Wilson shares what happened at Newcastle training when he made the England squad
The striker has not played for his country since 2019, but he has timed his return at just the right time to go to Qatar.
He will be the backup to Harry Kane as England go in search of glory on the world stage for the first time since 1966.
Wilson spoke to the Footballer’s Football Podcast for the BBC about his experience on squad announcement day as the Three Lions prepare to fly out for the tournament.
How Wilson found out he was in the England squad
“It was crazy. I was taken aback to be honest,” Wilson said. “I came in from the training ground and the lads were like ‘Cal, have you not heard anything? It should be time!’ and I saw Tripps sat there smiling so I thought he must have had a message and I had nothing.
“I checked my phone but none of the notifications were from anyone from the England set-up. Then I went on to the archive because it’s a long time since I was in the squad and the archive message was there.
“I just kind of kept a straight face and the lads were like ‘you’re not really smiling and you’re not really disappointed’ so I said ‘we’ll see’. Putting the Three Lions badge on again is a proud moment for me and my family. I don’t want it to just be the World Cup squad and that be it. Now the place is mine and I don’t want to give it up again.
“I’ve worked hard to get my place back so I’m not giving it up easily. This group of players, the squad, the manager, it’s got all the ingredients of success there. The boys got to a Euros final last year. I was in the stands watching and was thinking ‘that needs to be me, I need to get back to that level’.”
If anything happens to Kane, Wilson could well have the hopes of the nation on his shoulders if Gareth Southgate picks him to lead the line.
That is a reward for his fine form this season as he has got himself fit and scoring goals for a Newcastle side who are absolutely flying.
What a feeling it must be for Wilson, who has beaten competition from the likes of Ivan Toney to make it into the 26-man party.
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