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The Everton centre-back went to Euro 2012 but failed to play a minute of competitive action, and will now be keen to impress on the world stage after secure a starting berth

Phil Jagielka will take his place alongside Gary Cahill as England's first-choice centre-back pairing for the World Cup, marking a remarkable rise from his first senior cap - a substitute appearance for Rio Ferdinand, the man he has replaced, in a friendly just six years ago.

The 31-year-old Everton defender has earned 23 caps since and Goal takes a look at how he is shaping up ahead of this summer's finals.

SEASON 2013-14 ANALYSIS

The arrival of Roberto Martinez as Everton's new manager saw Jagielka handed the captaincy following Phil Neville's departure as the experienced defender played a crucial part in the club's charge for a top-four finish.

The Toffees kept a clean sheet in 10 of the 26 games he played - with a hamstring injury forcing him onto the sidelines from February until May - which sits behind just Chelsea's Cahill in the best central defenders available to Roy Hodgson.



Jaigelka's average of 8.9 clearances per game is the 12th-best record in the Premier League and the second-highest of any Englishman while his average of 5.5 recoveries is the best of any English centre-back in the top flight.

The 31-year-old will be disappointed to have suffered injury so late in the season but relieved he is fresh for the trip to Brazil and hoping his record of never losing a competitive game for England - winning eight and drawing three - is still intact come mid-July.

PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE

Jagielka was handed his senior international debut by Fabio Capello just days before the start of Euro 2008 as England played two friendlies before missing out on the tournament.

Call-ups for following friendlies followed but he had to wait until September 2012 for his first piece of competitive action - starting a 1-1 draw with Ukraine in the qualification for this summer's World Cup.

The former Sheffield United man has, though, experienced tournament football after being called up as part of Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad but was an unused substitute in all four of England's games.

LIKELY ROLE IN THE SQUAD

Jagielka will be first choice for the centre-back berth alongside Cahill and Everton team-mate Leighton Baines but will know the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will be ready to swoop if he fails to impress.

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England are unbeaten in the 10 games Jagielka and Cahill have started alongside each other in the centre of defence but the former admitted he is still struggling for fitness, saying on Tuesday: "I could do with these couple of games before the World Cup just to sharpen up.

"Warm-weather training last week was a little bit difficult, and it will be difficult this week but it is something I need. I do not feel 100% fit but I do feel really good at the moment."

With the assured passing game of the Chelsea centre-back to his right and the comforting presence of a domestic team-mate to his left, Jagielka should not find adaptation to a showpiece tournament too difficult.

"I was desperate to get some game-time at the Euros, but it wasn’t to be," he said on Wednesday. "When you play for England you’ve got to seize the moment, no matter what age you are.

"Being in the squad is great but nothing beats starting games for your country. It looks like I’ve got a good chance of doing that. I know I won’t be around forever and ever. This could be my only tournament.

"So I’ll be trying as hard as I do anyway. It’s my first World Cup, it could be my last and I’m determined to enjoy it."



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