Jermain Defoe has taken inspiration from David Beckham as he looks to make up for the disappointment of being overlooked for the 2006 World Cup by helping England reach next year's finals.
Then England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson caused a major surprise by naming untested teenager Theo Walcott in his squad for Germany, with Defoe one of the players who missed out. And Defoe remembers how Beckham responded after being sent off in the 1998 finals against Argentina in France and now has more than 100 caps to his name.
Defoe said: "It was disappointing to miss out on 2006 but when you go through disappointments in life, it's about how you react and come back from them."
He added: "If you look at the most talented players, they all have to do that.
"If you look at David Beckham, he got sent off in the World Cup in 1998 and had to bounce back, which he did by getting a goal against Greece a few years later to get us to another finals.
"To do what he has done since, to get all those caps and have an incredible career, is unbelievable. You look at players like that and learn from them.
"You've just got to keep your head up and keep working and hopefully you will get another chance - and that's what I want with this next World Cup."
Defoe wants to start against Croatia but is adamant England clinching their spot at the 2010 finals takes priority over his own personal ambitions.
He said: "Of course, I'd like to be in from the start on Wednesday. You want to play every game for your club and for your country.
"Everyone wants to play. You don't want to sit on the bench. It is a massive game against Croatia. We all remember what happened last time against them at Wembley and we don't want to have that feeling again."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms