Chelsea and England defender Reece James has released an emotional statement after it was confirmed that he will miss the World Cup through injury.
But everything changed when the 22-year-old suffered a knee injury in the 2-0 Champions League win against AC Milan on October 11.
With just a month until the full 26-man squad was named, James faced a race against time.
But he refused to rule himself out of contention, and told The Sun on October 29 that he was still hopeful of proving his fitness to Southgate.
However, the injury will cause him to miss the World Cup, news which was confirmed on Wednesday morning.
And following the devastating news, James posted a heartfelt statement on his social media accounts.
Reece James responds to missing out on World Cup
Taking to Twitter, James wrote: "Devastated. The minute I injured my knee, I knew the turn around to make the World Cup would be tight, but I also felt it was possible.
"I've worked harder than I ever thought I could to give myself the best chance of going, and truly believed I could help the team.
"I appreciate there was risk on both sides, but it was one I was willing to take.
"Good luck to the boys. I'll be back soon. Stay safe & sending love."
The outcome is a major blow for James, but at 22, and currently playing some of his best football, there will doubtless be more chances to represent his country at the biggest football tournament on the planet.
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