Tottenham defender Eric Dier has admitted that he feels ‘privileged’ to be heading to the 2022 World Cup with England as he had previously considered his international career to be over.
Dier became an England regular in midfield following his debut in 2015, scoring at Euro 2016 and slotting home the final spot kick in the Three Lions’ penalty shootout win against Colombia at the 2018 World Cup.
However, after demanding to be played exclusively at centre-back towards the end of 2019, Dier fell out of favour with Gareth Southgate, only earning a recall for this year’s September internationals.
The 28-year-old has become a key figure at the heart of Antonio Conte’s Spurs defence despite a dip in form recently, and speaking after Saturday’s 4-3 win against Leeds, Dier opened up on battling his way back into Southgate’s fold.
“I am extremely proud to play at my second World Cup,” he said. “Obviously I am well aware it is a very privileged position to be in. There was a time when I thought I wasn’t going to be in anyway involved with England anymore.
“I have had to work very hard, fight a lot to get back in. I am very proud of that. I am proud to be going to another World Cup. I can’t wait. It is going to be an incredible experience. I am really looking forward to being a part of it.”
Dier is one of five natural centre-backs in the England squad alongside Harry Maguire, John Stones, Ben White and Conor Coady, while Kyle Walker has played on the right side of a back three in previous tournaments.
The Three Lions kick off their campaign against Iran on November 21.