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Published 14 November 2022 6 min read
England Men's Senior Team

England World Cup diary: Callum Wilson’s Qatar premonition

Written by:

Callum Wilson

The first in our regular series of in-camp diaries with England players during the 2022 FIFA World Cup as they give us behind-the-scenes access

Back in 2017 I was in Qatar doing rehab work on my ACL injury when I said to myself ‘I’ll be back here in 2022 to play in the World Cup’. 

So to now be on the verge of flying to Qatar with England for the tournament is truly an honour and I’m determined to grasp this opportunity with both hands.

I 100 per cent believed what I was saying at that time. Anyone that knows will know exactly what I was doing when I said that to myself back in 2017. 

I set my mind to a target I wanted to achieve and whilst it has been a long and whirlwind five years, it's one that I've enjoyed and has gotten me to the point where my hard work can continue on the World Cup stage.

The last few days I just focused on our final game for Newcastle. It’s been hard going from being told you're going to the World Cup to then obviously switching back into Newcastle mode and then back into England mode but I'm over the moon to be going to the World Cup and the journey that's ahead of us.

My family came to the game with Chelsea and on Saturday night we left together, went home and had some food as a family. 

Callum Wilson, Luke Shaw and the rest of the England players took part in an event at St. George’s Park on Monday afternoon
Callum Wilson, Luke Shaw and the rest of the England players took part in an event at St. George’s Park on Monday afternoon

On Sunday, I just had the typical dad activities. I took my son to his football, we had a Sunday roast as a family and then I was packing and just making sure I had everything I needed - which really is just my passport and my football boots as everything else can take care of itself. 

I slept like a baby Sunday night. I'm fit, healthy and on Saturday we had a nice three points and we're sitting third in the league, so from a club point of view it is all good and internationally I was just looking forward to coming really. 

It’s not my first time in the England camp and I'm not a young lad anymore so I try to take things in my stride. It was not a situation where I was nervous about it, it was one where I was looking forward to grasping the opportunity.

This morning, me and Kieran Trippier set off together around 7.30am and we were just chatting football along the way and keeping each other company.

After we arrived, I went to the room, got changed into our leisurewear and then we had a Nike event with some children. 

It was like a carnival setting and there were children, including some from Football Beyond Borders, asking questions and we were interacting with them. There were things like making bucket hats and things like that. It was good to see the kids and spend a bit of time together as a squad. We enjoyed it.

From there, we went to lunch, had some content creation duties, had our squad photo and our headshots taken and now we will enjoy the rest of our evening before we fly out tomorrow.

I'm an easy traveller and fly well to be honest. I'll be looking forward to getting on the plane, landing down in Qatar and getting some heat on the body. I’m quite chilled so on the flight, if there's something like cards going on then I might get involved in that but if not, I’m happy with a boxset on my iPad.

I’m excited and honoured to be going to the World Cup but it is also one of those where you are going there to do a job as well. You’re not going there to be in awe of everything and take in your surroundings. You’re going there to get the job done and when you are called upon, you have to be ready to grasp the opportunity with both hands and be ready for what is in front of you. 

It is something I am determined to do.

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