Tuesday, June 18, 2024

England can ‘do something special’ at Euro 2024, says Declan Rice – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Declan Rice expressed confidence that England can “do something really special” at Euro 2024 as Gareth Southgate’s team departed for Germany following a royal send-off on Monday.

After narrowly missing out on the title in the final of the previous edition of the tournament at Wembley, England are considered one of the favorites to win the European Championship this time around.

Midfielder Rice emphasized that there is a strong belief within the squad that they have what it takes to be crowned champions of Europe for the first time, securing England’s first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

“We want to make history,” said the Arsenal midfielder. “We say it all the time, but genuinely we have a group, a manager, that really believes.

“We have confidence that we can go there and do something really special and, of course, with that comes hard work.

“That is going to be the main thing — the hard work as a team, unity, togetherness and with everyone behind us at home.

“We’re going to feel that for sure, so stick with us, be positive and let’s see what happens.”

Rice made these remarks before departing for the airport from St George’s Park, England’s national football center. There, flag-waving children gave the team a lively send-off, adding to the excitement and anticipation surrounding England’s Euro 2024 campaign.

“We’re about to go and play a tournament for our country,” said Rice. “It’s a privilege, an honour and it feels very real now. When you start to do things like this, it starts to feel real.

“You can have all the build-up in the world, but when you know you’re travelling and that, it’s proper now.”

Prince William, the president of the Football Association, made a visit to St George’s Park on Monday to wish the players luck and personally present them with their shirts.

Despite suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Iceland in their final friendly match last week, England remains focused as they prepare to kick off their Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia on Sunday.

Rice emphasized that while the defeat was disappointing, the 10-day training camp leading up to the tournament was highly beneficial for the team.

“It’s obviously difficult when you finish the league,” the 25-year-old said on England’s departure show on YouTube. “Your body completely shuts down when you have a break, because we’re made to just play all the time.

“When we have a rest, our body shuts down and it’s hard to get going again. But last week was really beneficial, to be honest with you, I think for everyone.

“We’ve got another full week now until the game, so we’ll be in a really good spot.”

Euro 2024 kicks off on Friday with a match between Germany and Scotland in Munich.

(With AFP inputs)

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