England centre-back Gary Cahill says playing at the World Cup will be extra special after the heartbreak of missing out on the 2010 tournament and Euro 2012.
Cahill suffered a blood clot in his chest in February 2010, costing him any chance of making Fabio Capello's squad to travel to South Africa.
And two years later, Cahill suffered a double fracture of the jaw in England's final friendly match before the start of the tournament after colliding with team-mate Joe Hart against Belgium.
The 28-year-old said the frustration of his previous experiences made him all the more grateful for the chance to play in Brazil.
"It does [feel special], because it's my first tournament," said the Chelsea defender, who is part of Roy Hodgson's first-choice centre-back pairing with Phil Jagielka.
"I have waited a long time for it to come and I was really excited previously.
"For the 2010 World Cup I was an outside shot of making the squad and I had my blood clot.
"Then I was one game away for Euro 2012 and I broke my jaw - it was like, 'Is this not for me?'. So to be involved in this is massive for me.
"It's been good of late. Not that long ago I wasn't really in the frame or I was grafting to get in the squad and just be a part of it, but now I feel like I'm a big part of it, which is pleasing.
"It shows how far I have come and I am obviously really happy."
England kick off their Group D campaign in Brazil against Italy on June 14.
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