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The Chelsea defender has excelled for Jose Mourinho's side this season and will be a key part of the Three Lions' defence if they are to succeed at the World Cup this summer

As expected, Gary Cahill was named in England's World Cup squad and heads to Brazil as a vital part of Roy Hodgson's defence after an excellent season with Chelsea.

The 28-year-old is one of the older members of a relatively youthful England squad and is expected to partner Phil Jagielka at the heart of the Three Lions' defence. Goal takes a look at how he is shaping up ahead of this summer's showpiece.

SEASON 2013-14 ANALYSIS

Despite finishing the season without a trophy in Jose Mourinho’s first season back at Stamford Bridge, Cahill has been a star performer for the Blues who finished the campaign with the meanest defence by far, conceding just 27 Premier League goals (10 less than champions Manchester City).

Playing alongside John Terry the duo have formed a formidable partnership with Cahill having seen off other rivals for his position such as Branislav Ivanovic and David Luiz, who has opted to leave Stamford Bridge for a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

In 30 Premier League appearances this season, Cahill has helped the Blues keep 16 clean sheets and has been booked just twice, his consistency and discipline at the back the foundation on which Chelsea built their title challenge.

Happiest out of the spotlight, Cahill’s ability and consistency this season did not go unnoticed by his peers who voted him into the PFA Team of the Year 2014 while Mourinho, who knows a thing or too about defending, also believes he is the best in the country: "I think Gary's at the top of his game. This has been his most complete season. He is first choice for England - no doubts."

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE

Cahill made his debut for England against Bulgaria in 2010 in a Euro 2012 qualifier and has gone on to pick up 22 caps for his country, but in truth he has precious little international tournament experience.

The Chelsea defender was forced to miss out on the tournament after breaking his jaw in a collision with Joe Hart in a friendly against Belgium before the tournament.

Cahill did feature for the England Under-21 side in the 2007 European Championship, but made just one appearance as England made it to the semi-final before being knocked out by Netherlands.

Therefore, despite being one of the older members of the squad, Brazil will be his first proper international tournament, and his first World Cup.

However, with a pass accuracy rate of 90 per cent in World Cup qualifying and having played in a Champions League final, you would think that Cahill will not be daunted in Brazil.

LIKELY ROLE IN THE SQUAD

Barring injuries it is safe to assume that Cahill and Jagielka will be Hodgson's preferred centre-back pairing for the World Cup.

The Chelsea man has been handed the No.5 shirt and after excelling this season for Mourinho's side and must surely be regarded as Hodgson's first choice centre-back.

Despite having never featured at a major international tournament, Cahill is an experienced defender and with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling the other centre-back options in the squad, England will look to the Chelsea defender to provide a solid platform on which to build their World Cup hopes



 

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