West Ham captain Declan Rice has deservedly been called up to represent England at his first World Cup when the Three Lions head to Qatar this winter.

The Hammers talisman, who has established himself as one of our nations regular starters, is understandably delighted and proud to be representing his country as England hope to make a big impact after going close to a major trophy in Euro 2020, by narrowly missing out to Italy in the final.

Speaking to the clubs Official Website, Rice acknowledged the magnitude of what it means for a player to be called up to a World Cup squad and quite-rightly couldn’t contain his excitement.

“It’s not really hit me yet, to be honest,” admitted Rice. “I think I might be one of less than 500 Englishmen who have gone to a World Cup, and there’s so many people in this country want to be a footballer and I’m one of 26 players who has been selected to go, so it’s an honour and one that will now live with me forever.”

The West Ham captain will not be the only Hammer heading to Qatar, with fellow teammates Areola (France), Paqueta (Brazil), Kehrer (Germany) and Aguerd (Morocco) all set to represent their respected nations, and Rice wished them all well – although hopes they don’t win it!

“I’m looking forward to it,” added Rice. “I’m obviously wishing all my teammates the best as well, but obviously want us to win it.”

Beforehand though Rice has other big matters to deal with, as West Ham face Leicester City on Saturday in a crucial must-win encounter. Our Premier League form is in desperate need of a boost, and nothing short of a win against the foxes in the final game before the World Cup will do.