‘I came off the phone and cried my eyes out’: Anton Ferdinand reveals that he missed the call to the 2006 World Cup in England after undergoing hernia surgery when he was locked out of the original 30-man van Sven squad -Goran Eriksson
- Anton Ferdinand had an impressive 2005-2006 season in West Ham
- He noticed Sven-Goran Eriksson despite struggling with a hernia problem
- The defender was excluded from the original 30-man squad from England for the World Cup
- But Eriksson then called the youngster to ask him to meet the team
Anton Ferdinand has revealed how he cried out his eyes after seeing that he hoped to be part of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s English squad for the 2006 World Cup.
Defender Ferdinand, who won 17 England under 21 caps, had applied for a senior call-up after an impressive 2005-06 season for West Ham, who finished ninth and reached a memorable FA Cup final they lost to a Steven Gerrard – inspired Liverpool.
That campaign was then the first of Ferdinand to take center stage in the top flight and he did enough to get Eriksson’s attention despite struggling with a hernia problem in the last months of the season.
Anton Ferdinand has revealed how close he was to making the 2006 English World Cup selection
Sven Goran-Eriksson asked Ferdinand to meet the team after he had surgery
And the 35-year-old has told how painfully close he got to make Eriksson’s party, including his older brother Rio, for the tournament in Germany.
Speaking to Colchester duo Frank Nouble and Theo Robinson on their podcast The Ball Don’t Lie, Ferdinand, who also counts Sunderland, QPR, Reading and Southend among his former clubs, said: ‘I was close to the [squad for the] World Cup Germany 2006.
‘The 30-man squad was announced shortly after the FA Cup final and I was not part of that.
“I had played in the FA Cup final with a hernia injury and I had a hernia in the last three months of the season.
Ferdinand traveled to see England and his brother Rio play in Germany that summer
Despite a hernia problem, Ferdinand had experienced an impressive season in West Ham
“The West Ham doctors wanted me to make it [the operation] but I said “wait for the England squad to be announced” because I had a good year that year. The first year in the Premier League I was on fire.
“It turned out that I wasn’t on the squad, so I had double hernia surgery. I received a call from Sven Goran Eriksson and asked me to meet the team.
“I had just had the surgery, so I couldn’t go and I was devastated.
He said, “Okay, the doctor from England will speak to the doctor from West Ham and we’ll see if you can come in at some point. ‘
“Three or four days later I got another call from Sven and he said,” Listen, it can’t happen. I should have put you with the team from the beginning. ‘
“I literally got off the phone and cried out my eyes.”
Ferdinand played 17 games for England’s Under 21s, but never played for the senior side