‘I came off the phone and cried my eyes out’: Anton Ferdinand reveals he missed out on England World Cup 2006 call-up after undergoing hernia operation when he was left out of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s original 30-man squad
- Anton Ferdinand enjoyed an impressive 2005-06 season at West Ham
- He caught Sven-Goran Eriksson’s eye despite struggling with a hernia problem
- Defender was left out of England boss’ original 30-man squad for the World Cup
- But Eriksson then rang the youngster up to ask him to meet up with the squad
Anton Ferdinand has revealed how he was left crying his eyes out after seeing his hopes of being part of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England squad for the 2006 World Cup dashed.
Defender Ferdinand, who won 17 England Under 21 caps, had put himself in contention for a senior call-up after an impressive 2005-06 season for West Ham, who finished ninth and reached a memorable FA Cup final they lost to a Steven Gerrard-inspired Liverpool.
That campaign was then rising centre-back Ferdinand’s first in the top-flight and he did enough to catch Eriksson’s eye despite struggling with a hernia problem for the last few months of the season.
Anton Ferdinand has revealed how close he was to making England’s 2006 World Cup squad
Sven Goran-Eriksson asked Ferdinand to meet up with the squad after he’d had an operation
And the 35 year-old has spoken about how agonisingly close he came to making Eriksson’s party, which included his older brother Rio, for the tournament in Germany.
Speaking to Colchester duo Frank Nouble and Theo Robinson on their podcast The Ball Don’t Lie, Ferdinand, who also counts Sunderland, QPR, Reading and Southend among his former clubs, said: ‘I was close to the [squad for the] 2006 Germany World Cup.
‘Just after the FA Cup final the 30-man squad got announced and I wasn’t a part of it.
‘I had played in the FA Cup final with a hernia injury and I had been playing for the last three months of the season with a hernia.
Ferdinand travelled out to watch England and his brother, Rio, play in Germany that summer
Ferdinand had enjoyed an impressive season at West Ham despite a hernia problem
‘The doctors at West Ham wanted me to get it [the operation] done but I was saying “wait for the England squad to be announced” because I had had a good year that year. First year in the Premier League I was on fire.
‘It came out that I wasn’t in the squad so I had a double hernia operation. I got a phone call from Sven Goran Eriksson asking me to meet up with the squad.
‘I had just had the op so I couldn’t go and I was devastated.
‘He said “ok, the England doctor will speak to the West Ham doctor and we will see if you can come in at some point.”
‘Three, four days later I got a phone call from Sven again and he said “listen it isn’t going to be able to happen. Really I should have put you in the squad from the start.”
‘I literally came off the phone and cried my eyes out.’
Ferdinand made 17 appearances for England’s Under 21s but never played for the senior side
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