The Manchester United star has been sidelined for lengthy spells with a back problem.
But Ferdinand never doubted he would be available to lead his country in South Africa and is adamant nothing less than lifting the trophy will be deemed a success.
"This season has been frustrating with not playing much. I'm used to playing 40-50 games a season and to be playing only 20 or so is a non event really," he said.
"It has been stop-start but it is a learning curve in that you can't have positives all through your career.
"You've got to have a few negative situations that pop up and deal with them and I always believed I would make it for the World Cup.
"More importantly, I always believed I would be able to play a good few games at the back end of the season for United.
"I thought if I did that, I would get my chance to get into the 30 and, from there, get into the final squad."
Ferdinand is a mixture of determination to win football's greatest prize and realism in not getting carried away in terms of trumpeting England's chances publicly.
"There is a dose of realism - and it is from us as well as the manager," he added.
"A lot of us have been to a few tournaments. Wayne Rooney is 24 and this is his third tournament.
"We've got a lot of players who have also played a lot of top European football in the last four or five years, and got to the latter stages, and we know what it takes to win.
"We are going to be doing our utmost to bring the World Cup back. We are not out there to finish second, we are not out there to make the semi-finals and think we've done a good job because we have got past the quarter-finals.
"But we don't get carried away with things at our clubs so why do it here with England?
"We want to come back with no regrets. In the past I have been to several tournaments and there has probably been an element of regret in each one of them.
"I don't want to finish my England career, if this is going to be last tournament, on that note."
England will have been preparing for the best part of a month, including nearly two weeks at a training camp in Austria, before they face the United States in their opening game on June 12.
But Ferdinand is confident that the boredom factor will not affect the players through such a lengthy build-up.
He said: "The days leading up to the first game are the most important period in terms of staying away from boredom and stuff like that.
"Once the games start, you are watching other games, and the adrenalin kicks in, and you are chomping at the bit to get to the next game, and you are recuperating after games and stuff.
"The initial period before the games start is the boredom period but we've got a lot to do, computers, cards, table tennis, pool etc. We've got great facilities at the camp which is good."