Nations League: England striker Callum Wilson 'thrives on proving doubters wrong'

Callum Wilson celebrates scoring for England on his debut
Callum Wilson scored 14 Premier League in 2018-19

England striker Callum Wilson says he has "always thrived in proving doubters wrong" as he aims to help his country win the Nations League.

At 27, the Bournemouth player is one of the oldest in the Three Lions squad, but admits to being "one of the babies in terms of experience" with two caps.

Wilson rose from non-league and overcame two serious knee injuries to score on his England debut last year.

"I feel like I should be here at this point in my career," he told BBC Sport.

England, looking to win their first senior men's trophy since 1996, play the Netherlands in the Nations League semi-finals in Guimaraes on 6 June.

Hosts Portugal play Switzerland in the other semi-final on 5 June in Porto. The third-place play-off and final are on 9 June.

Wilson began his professional career at Coventry, his home city, and spent time on loan at Kettering Town and Tamworth in what is now the National League.

He joined Bournemouth in 2014 and has scored 58 goals in 148 games, including 14 in the Premier League this season.

Wilson has spent a significant amount of his time with the Cherries on the sidelines after injuring both his right and left knee in separate incidents.

"I have worked extremely hard from setbacks, from people not believing in me, not thinking I'm good enough and things like that," he said.

"I have always thrived on proving doubters wrong. That has been the driving force in my career really."

Speaking about being part of the England set-up, he added: "I'm one of the babies in terms of experience, but close to one of the oldest in the squad. I'm quite a laid-back person. I'm enjoying it, I feel comfortable and all the guys are great.

"I'm just trying to make an impact, I always said I didn't want to get into the squad just once or twice and take part; I'm here to bring my own individual attributes to the table to try and help the team win trophies."

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has said he is "ready to go" after recovering from injury in time for Saturday's Champions League final against Liverpool (20:00 BST kick-off).

The England captain has been out since 9 April with an ankle injury but Wilson expects Kane to play for both Spurs and England in the next two weeks.

"Knowing Harry and the person that he is, he is not going to want to miss any big games, so I'm sure for the Champions League final he will be lining up for his team," Wilson added.

"He is in the squad [for the Nations League], so I'm presuming - without seeing him yet - that he is going to be here.

"He is the captain of the national team, so we would like to have him around, for sure. His ability, experience and his professionalism rubs off on everybody around him, so he is a great person to have in the squad."


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