Old tweet of James Maddison’s confident response to teacher resurfaces as he delights at England World Cup inclusion – but Jack Wilshere says he must play in Qatar

    James Maddison – he’s short on England caps, but he’s the Leicester star has certainly never been short of confidence.

    Maddison has played for his country once, but has earned a place on the plane to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup thanks to his stunning start to the season and good form towards the end of the last one.

    With six goals and four assists in the Premier League this season, Maddison makes it into England’s World Cup squad

    Getty

    With six goals and four assists in the Premier League this season, Maddison makes it into England’s World Cup squad

    There were fears that the 25-year-old wouldn’t get the nod from manager Gareth Southgate with Maddison seemingly out of favour.

    What he’s doing on the pitch is always the talking point now, though, with Maddison in the form of his life.

    And his unwavering self-belief has probably helped him on his journey to the World Cup, something that has been around since before he became a professional footballer.

    Back in January 2013, Maddison tweeted: “Today my teacher said to me ‘only one in a million make it as a footballer.’ I told him that I’m that 1 [love heart and football emoji].”

    Just months later he proved said teacher wrong as he signed a pro deal with Coventry City.

    A move to Norwich followed three years later and that’s when football fans really started to take notice of the precocious talent, who then got his Premier League move in the summer of 2018.

    Coventry have given a professional contract to academy graduate James Maddison

    Maddison has possessed confidence and ambition right from a young age

    As this tweet proves

    Twitter @madders10

    As this tweet proves

    Now part of Southgate’s final 26, Maddison will look to bring that confidence and swagger that’s served him well in his career – and he deserves the call-up, according to former England internationals Darren Bent and Jack Wilshere.

    “I’m positive about this squad and I’m happy that James Maddison is in it. He couldn’t have done any more to get himself in there,” Bent said on Drive.

    “He was brilliant last season, he’s come back this season and looked even better even though Leicester have been poor.

    “He hasn’t let his standards slip, he’s been absolutely outstanding and Southgate has made the right call.

    How much game time will Maddison get in Qatar?

    How much game time will Maddison get in Qatar?

    “It’s similar to when the country was calling for Jack Grealish [to be picked] but he kept getting left out but then it got to the point where Southgate couldn’t. It’s the same with James Maddison, everyone’s talking about Maddison.”

    However, Wilshere is hoping that Maddison isn’t in the England squad to make up the numbers.

    “Maddison is the type of player where if you take him, you have to play him,” Wilshere said.

    “You don’t have to start him, he is pushing for one. But I don’t want to see him go to a World Cup and not feature at all. He’s got too much quality for that.”

    For maybe the first time in his life, Maddison may be in a state of disbelief following his World Cup call-up

    Twitter @madders10

    For maybe the first time in his life, Maddison may be in a state of disbelief following his World Cup call-up

    It seems former captain Wayne Rooney agrees, telling talkSPORT: “I think there’s the option to drop Bellingham back a little bit next to Declan and bring Maddison in that number ten role. I think the main thing for him is to just go and be professional and train right and make sure you show Gareth in training that you’re ready to come on and play or start.”

    But for now, Maddison can enjoy his call-up to Qatar.

    He said: “It hasn’t sunk in… I’m going to The World Cup. Dreams really do come true.”

    In 2022, he has scored 17 goals and recorded 10 assists, but it took a bit of trying for Southgate to initially tell him the good news.

    “He had a missed call from Gareth just before we were due to train,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers explained.

    “I told him to go in my office and take the call privately, he came out full of joy!”

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