Roma defender Chris Smalling went in depth about the lack of playing time for England over recent years despite his consistent performances with the Giallorossi as one of the best centrebacks in Serie A and Europe.
“I still have a great desire to represent my country and every time there is a call-up I am left disappointed, even if I have been out of the game for quite some time,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“It seems to me that I can offer a lot. I want to be there [in Qatar]. When you are always called up and playing, the risk is to take it for granted. Now I think even more about how nice it would be to get called up and go to the World Cup with England.”
“Playing for your country is a great feeling. Representing the birthplace, the team everyone supports, regardless of the club they support. All together for one goal.”
“The club is doing well and we hope to be able to continue winning more trophies. But there is a great personal void in terms of returning to the international stage.”
“I follow England even though I am frustrated and disappointed not to be there. Ultimately, I’m still a fan. As much as there is a desire to play for England, all I can do is focus on playing my best and hope that the opportunity will come. Southgate? I hold no grudge against him.”