Raheem Sterling says that anything less than a win at Euro 2020 for England would be a "disappointment".
The Manchester City forward is one of the veterans in this young squad, having represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, as well as at Euro 2016 five years ago. Having flourished on the club scene, Sterling tells the Euro 2020 issue of FourFourTwo (opens in new tab) that the current crop of England players have the confidence and ability to go all the way at this summer's tournament.
“Since the last World Cup, I feel we’ve got better,” Sterling told FFT. “You might even say that we’ve got more ability in the squad now – players that can change matches at any moment. We’ve got more of those players than we did in 2018; players I genuinely feel are match-winners and have that arrogance about them.
“When I’m watching other teams in the Premier League today, I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, he’s English’, and I’m really proud to say that. There’s a lot of special talent, and I say that with emphasis. A lot.”
Sterling has won the Premier League again since his 2018 exploits in Russia and looks set to win it again this season. Many have pointed to the development of winning mentality as one of the key aspects of his growth as a player; the man himself certainly believes that such confidence is half the battle at Euro 2020.
“First and foremost, it’s qualifying out of the group,” Sterling said. “In the past, I’ve heard people say, ‘Let’s see how it goes’, but I always say I ain’t going into a tournament without the thought of winning it. It might sound a long stretch, but if you haven’t got that belief – if the group isn’t thinking that – then there’s no point even going to the tournament, to be honest with you.”
“You don’t want to shout that out because it could come back to bite you, though at the same time, as a group, as a country, that’s what we should be aiming for: to try to win. Anything less than that is a disappointment. To win things, you have to have that mentality from day one. Everyone has to work together to be that number one team, and as a group, I do believe everyone is working to be that.”
“From the short career I’ve already had, I’ve learned that if you haven’t got belief, nothing will come of it.”
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