Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has told talkSPORT he is finding it ‘tough’ to watch England at the World Cup after his hopes of playing in Russia were shattered by injury.
The 24-year-old had enjoyed a brilliant first season for Liverpool before his campaign was ended prematurely in April, after suffering a serious knee injury in the Champions League semi-final against Roma.
It was tragic timing for the midfielder, who not only missed out on the Reds’ Champions League final against Real Madrid but also a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.
And Oxlade-Chamberlain admits it is painful to see his Three Lions team-mates in action in Russia while he watches from his sofa at home.
In an honest and open interview with talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham, the midfielder said: “It’s not an ideal time for me, if I’m being honest.
“It’s obviously been really tough to miss out at this time of the season, at a time when I was feeling so good and felt like I was really finding my feet at Liverpool.
“I felt I was playing some good stuff, I was playing with a lot of confidence and I was a really enjoying my football, so for it to all come crashing down in one moment, with one tackle, it’s never great – but that’s football.
“As a character I’m positive and I’m trying not to let myself get too down, obviously I’ve got a tough rehab ahead of me and moping around isn’t going to get me through that!
“I’ve been watching the World Cup, following it and supporting the boys every inch of the way.
“I must admit the first game against Tunisia was tough to watch – it’s a moment when you realise what a great opportunity you’re missing, but these things happen in life and I’m keeping positive.”
While devastated by his own injury, the midfielder admitted his heart was broken for his Liverpool team-mates after their Champions League final defeat.
The 24-year-old was forced to watch from the stands as Real Madrid sealed a 3-1 win in Kiev to claim their third straight title, after Mo Salah’s untimely injury in the first-half.
And Oxlade-Chamberlain said he was overcome by emotion at the final whistle as the reality of missing out on the biggest game in European football and the pain of defeat hit him.
“The Champions League final was devastating to miss and at the final whistle when we didn’t win all this emotion came rushing over me and it’s something I’ve never really experienced before,” he added.
“I was out on the pitch and I’m not a crier at all, but I just knew how much everyone wanted it – the city, the fans, the club, the players – and when you get injured en route to something special you hope it ends out in the right way so it was all worthwhile.
“Seeing the boys put in the performances they did leading up to it and even in the final, I was so proud of them all. It was such a shame we couldn’t get that one over the line.”
Listen to a clip of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain revealing his injury heartbreak above…