Southampton left-back Luke Shaw still cannot quite believe he has been selected for England's FIFA World Cup™ squad.

The 18-year-old admitted when he heard about Ashley Cole's retirement from international football on Sunday and did not receive a phone call, he presumed he had been left out. And although he had confirmation he was on the plane to Brazil the following day he still finds himself pinching himself.

"I seriously can't believe it still," he said. "When I found out Ashley Cole wasn't going I had that thought it could be me going but I didn't want to over-think saying 'I am definitely going' because I didn't receive anything that night.

"I thought everyone was getting a phone call on Sunday night and I was speaking with Ads (Adam Lallana) and Lambo (Rickie Lambert) asking if they had got one and once it went past 10pm none of us had had the call so we thought we were among the seven not going.

"When the squad came out the next afternoon me and my family sat there thinking 'I'm 18 and I'm going to a World Cup'. Four years ago I was sat at home watching it on my sofa. It is going to be so weird."

Shaw added on Saints Player: "I am still shocked that I am actually going. You always had that thought in your head that you might be picked because Roy (Hodgson) was watching a lot of our games, not just for me of course.

"But I wasn't expecting it. I thought I might be in the 30-man squad so to represent my country at a World Cup when I am only 18 is the best feeling in the world and I want more of it. Time flies. A year ago I made my Under-21 debut and now I'm going to a World Cup. Things can happen so fast. I am going to pray I don't get injured so I can be on that plane to Brazil."

Defoe devastated
By contrast, being overlooked for the squad broke Jermain Defoe's heart and provided him with the lowest moment of his career, the Toronto striker has claimed.

Defoe, who has 55 caps to his name, was told by Roy Hodgson at the weekend that he would not be going to Brazil this summer. The 31-year-old has the scant consolation of being on the standby list and although he is willing to fly out if asked, he admits to being at his lowest ebb.

"This was, without doubt, the lowest point of my career," he told the Sun. "I'm devastated. I can't remember much of the conversation. As soon as he told me I was not in the squad I switched off. I was heartbroken. I got left out of the squad in 2006 by Sven-Goran Eriksson after travelling to the training camp and never wanted to feel that low again. This feels far worse than then."

Defoe, who has 19 goals for England, swapped the English Premier League for Major League Soccer in February but does not believe that is the reason for his omission.

"Some people are talking like I've been here for four years rather than two months," he added. "I never had a discussion with Roy about any possible impact on my England chances coming here because I didn't feel the need to. And I did read a quote from him, saying that me playing in MLS doesn't change anything because he knows me as a player."