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Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 15:09 UK

Everton defender Phil Jagielka holds World Cup hope

Phil Jagielka (left) and Carlos Tevez (right)
Jagielka (left) has fitted seamlessly back into life in the Premier League

Everton defender Phil Jagielka says it would be an honour to be part of England's World Cup squad.

"If the possibility arises to play in a World Cup, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity especially for someone like me," he told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"I would be delighted, even to go as a squad member."

The 27-year-old former Sheffield United player has won three caps since making his debut against Trinidad & Tobago in June 2008.

I'm not sure what is going to go on this close season. I think I'm in a win, win situation

Everton defender Phil Jagielka

The centre-back returned to the Everton first team during their Europa League defeat by Sporting Lisbon in February following an anterior cruciate ligament injury and has been an ever present since.

His impressive performances have led to calls for him to be included in the squad for South Africa.

"I'm not sure what is going to go on this close season," he continued. "I think I'm in a win-win situation.

"If I get on a plane to South Africa it would be amazing. If I don't, it's a nice little break for me and I can go back and do the little bits and bobs that I need to do to keep myself just ticking over.

"I've spoke to the physios and we've had a laugh and a joke about it. It's hard to make the decision, but as far as I'm concerned I'm available to go in the summer.

"I'm sure the physio, if he's got his Everton hat on will not want me to go, but if he's got his England one on and my best wishes he'll be delighted if I get the opportunity to board the plane."

Captain Rio Ferdinand and John Terry are the likely central defensive partnership for the Three Lions, but Jagielka hopes to be one of the players increasing competition with in the squad.

"The first choice centre-halves are pretty much nailed on," he said.

"But the next two to take are pretty much up in the air. So as far as I'm coming from, I'm delighted that's the case."

Fabio Capello names his initial squad for the World Cup on 16 May.



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