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Barkley reveals World Cup frustration following England recall

15:25 IST 10/10/2018
Ross Barkley
The Chelsea man is back in Gareth Southgate's plans for the games against Croatia and Spain after missing out on the summer tournament in Russia

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has revealed his frustration at having to watch the 2018 World Cup from the sidelines.

Barkley endured a nightmare 2017-18 campaign as he only made five appearances due to recurring hamstring problems.

The former Everton man is now playing regularly for Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri and scored his first goal for the club at the weekend in their 3-0 win over Southampton.

He has also earned himself an England recall after his fitness denied him a place in the World Cup squad - a tournament which he had mixed emotions about after Gareth Southgate’s side reached the semi-finals.

"It was frustrating for me because England means the world to me, to play for your country, but these things happen in football and you have to react and work hard to get your rewards, which I am doing," Barkley said.

"I was proud to see the lads do really well and see how proud the country was of the boys.

"After where I was at, I had had a difficult season through injuries and I had a few niggles but kept a positive mind. I had a strong pre-season and things are going well for me now."

England’s run to the last four in Russia was their best performance at a World Cup since 1990 when Paul Gascoigne shone, with Barkley’s playing style seeing him likened to the former Three Lions star.

"All of the midfielders will be thinking that," he added. "It is a challenge for us to go out there and produce the goods as Gazza did when he was a player.

"We have a lot of talent in the squad that can produce magic at any point in the game and we have a confident bunch of lads and there is a lot of talent coming through."

Barkley was part of the 2014 World Cup squad as a 20-year-old but he now feels like he has matured as a footballer and is back where he belongs after being called up for the UEFA Nations League games against Croatia and Spain.

"I'm over the moon to be back, I feel like it's been a long time coming but I feel like I have worked hard over the last couple of years and that it's fully deserved that I am back here.

"I feel like I have matured as a person and understood what football is, and taken little details on as I have done now under the manager (Sarri). Things are going really well for me now and I'm fully focused on improving and kicking on."