Cresswell - I couldn't be happier

Aaron Cresswell


Aaron Cresswell has expressed his pride at making his senior England debut.

A decade after being released by Liverpool as a schoolboy, West Ham United's outstanding left-back made his bow against Spain in front of nearly 84,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.

For the 26-year-old, pulling on the Three Lions shirt at the Home of Football in Wednesday's 2-2 international friendly draw with Spain was the result of years of hard work, dedication and ambition to reach the very top of his profession.

"I was obviously delighted, as it is a dream come true," he told Ian 'Moose' Abrahams in an exclusive interview for "Ever since I started playing football as a little boy, this is what I wanted to do, and to do it at Wembley in front of 84,000 fans, I can't speak any higher of it.

"It is something I've always wanted to do and I've achieved it."

But was he nervous?

"No, I was fine when I came on! It's still a game of football and it's something I've done all my life. It's something for me that's finally pulling on that shirt and, as I said, a dream come true."

Cresswell was drafted into Gareth Southgate's squad for the November international fixtures - England beat Scotland 3-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier at Wembley last Friday - as a replacement for the injured Danny Drinkwater, and only four games into his return from a knee injury suffered in pre-season.

However, West Ham fans have long clamoured for their No3 to be capped and that moment arrived in the 79th minute on Wednesday evening.

"It was slightly surprising to get the call after only playing three or four games," he admitted. "To get the setback in pre-season, I didn't think I'd be involved in the England team so soon after coming back, but it's something that I'm delighted has happened and I couldn't be any happier."

It is something I've always wanted to do and I've achieved it

England international Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell

Now, Cresswell has his sights trained on earning more England recognition in 2017, looking ahead to the World Cup finals in Russia the following summer.

"As a player, you never stop learning and you always want to better yourself, so hopefully I can do that. As long as I concentrate and work hard at West Ham and hopefully progress, my efforts on the pitch will hopefully get me more England caps.

Now he has joined the likes of Dimitri Payet, Cheikhou Kouyate and Andy Carroll as a full international, will Cresswell walk back into Rush Green on Thursday morning with his 'chest puffed out'?

Of course not!

"I won't have my chest puffed out, that's for sure!" he smiled. "Of course I'm delighted, but now it's a case of getting my head down and back to work on Thursday."

Cresswell is also backing Hammers teammate Michail Antonio to earn his first cap soon, with the winger having been named in two squads by Southgate earlier this year.

"I'm sure Michail's time will come. He's been fantastic for us this season, scoring six goals, and hopefully he can get on as well," the defender observed.

Now he is back fully fit and playing regularly, Cresswell's next ambition is to help his Club climb the Premier League table, starting with a short trip across London to face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening.

"I'm delighted to be back," he confirmed. "The first few games were hard fitness-wise, as it's never easy being back after a long period out, but I'm just happy on the whole with the way it's happened.

"To be out for three months, then come back and play three or four games and be involved in the England team, I couldn't be more delighted with it.

"There are no easy games in the Premier League, as you know, but we were better against the top six last season, so hopefully we can finally kick-start our season and get on a good run and move up the table."