Gary Cahill believes turning out for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League has allowed him to answer any questions regarding his ability to compete at the highest level.
The 26-year-old is looking to nail down a centre-half berth in the England national side after stepping up in class at club level.
Cahill was handed his Three Lions bow while on the books at Bolton, but is aware that his big-game pedigree was queried.
A switch to Chelsea in January 2012 has provided him with an opportunity to taste the high life, with the Blues conquering the continent last season.
Cahill hopes the experience he has gained on big European nights will aid his claims to a starting role with England, starting with Friday's 2014 World Cup qualifier against Moldova.
He said: "The Champions League experience with Chelsea pushed me on and made me learn. I think it gave me a chance to play in the big games that people could say I had not played in.
"That was the main thing. People would say I was okay but hadn't played in the big games. It gave me an opportunity to do that.
"Many of the players who don't come from the big clubs have always got that, 'can he do it in the big games?'
"Certainly coming from Bolton, I was not playing in the Champions League and that was always going to be a question mark over my head.
"It was nice to answer that, in a way, at the back end of last year."
Cahill was forced to sit out Euro 2012 after picking up and unfortunate pre-tournament injury and, with John Terry and Joleon Lescott having impressed in his absence, concedes that he will never be guaranteed an automatic spot with England.
He said: "Ever since I have been involved with England, I have always felt I was fighting (for a place).
"I don't think there is every going to be a time when I can rest on my laurels and think 'I am in the side now'.
"There is always going to be somebody in front of you or behind you. There are so many good players."