Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits watching England’s World Cup opener against Tunisia was “tough” after missing out with injury.
The Liverpool midfielder’s season was cut short after he sustained a knee injury during the first leg of a Champions League semi-final against Roma in April.
The 24-year-old was likely to be a part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad in Russia this summer before he was forced to undergo surgery on his knee.
After England’s impressive start in the tournament, with wins over Tunisia and Panama, he says it has been difficult to be a spectator.
“I’ve been watching the World Cup, following it and supporting the boys every inch of the way,” he told Liverpool’s official website.
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“I must admit the first game against Tunisia was tough to watch – it’s a moment when you realise what a great opportunity you’re missing, but these things happen in life and I’m keeping positive.”
The former Arsenal midfielder was also forced to miss out on the Champions League final in May. He played a key part in Liverpool’s run and says not being part of the big night in Kiev was “devastating”.
“I felt I was playing some good stuff, I was playing with a lot of confidence and I was a really enjoying my football,” he added.
“For it to all come crashing down in one moment, with one tackle, it’s never great – but that’s football.
“The Champions League final was devastating to miss and at the final whistle when we didn’t win all this emotion came rushing over me and it’s something I’ve never really experienced before.
“I was out on the pitch and I’m not a crier at all, but I just knew how much everyone wanted it – the city, the fans, the club, the players – and when you get injured en route to something special you hope it ends out in the right way so it was all worthwhile.
“Seeing the boys put in the performances they did leading up to it and even in the final, I was so proud of them all. It was such a shame we couldn’t get that one over the line.”