Everton midfielder Leon Osman has revealed he was unsurprised to receive his first England call-up at age of 31, as he has always developed late when it comes to football.
Osman was announced as part of Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad last week, ahead of a friendly clash with Sweden in Stockholm on Wednesday.
And while international recognition has been a long time coming for the Toffees midfielder, he insisted he was not shocked upon hearing the news.
"I seem to have developed late in the game,” he told reporters.
“I didn't make my debut until I was 21. And I wasn't a regular until I was 23. I've done everything late so it doesn't surprise me that I'm here now.
"I'd stopped looking for my name in the squad every time, but I never gave up hope.”
The Wigan-born playmaker went on to describe the moment when Everton manager David Moyes broke the news to the team.
"We were out on the training pitch and I saw a lot of staff start to filter to the side of the pitch," he continued.
"The next thing the manager called us into a circle and announced I was in the squad. I got a big cheer from the side, lots of head ruffles and kidney punches. It was a great moment."