Stoke and England goalkeeper Jack Butland says he phoned his “hero” Joe Hart after the Manchester City player was left out of the World Cup squad.
Butland, 25, has seven caps for the Three Lions and is one of the keepers selected alongside Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Burnley’s Nick Pope.
Hart misses out despite playing nine of the 10 qualifiers and winnings 75 caps.
“I have spoken to Joe,” said Butland. “I know he is devastated to miss out and I am gutted for him.”
An inexperienced squad picked by manager Gareth Southgate contains Pickford with two England caps and Pope, who is yet to make his debut.
Butland was a youth team player at Birmingham when Hart spent the 2009-10 season on-loan at St Andrew’s and the 31-year-old had a disappointing loan spell at West Ham last season.
Butland said: “Joe has been my hero since I was 14 years old and I still look up to him now. It was important for me to tell him that because you don’t often get opportunities to tell people what you really think about them.
“If Joe had been here that conversation never gets had. It was really important to me and hopefully he valued that as well.
“When I was coming through at Birmingham I admired him as a goalkeeper and as a person. I wanted to be where he was – I wanted to be the number one for Birmingham and the number one for England and he was all those things.
“As we have got older, certainly the last couple of years, I have seen and learned more from Joe than I ever could have [expected].”