Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne believes England are capable of winning Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.
The Manchester City star is part of the Red Devils squad who take on the Three Lions in a UEFA Nations League game at Wembley on Sunday.
Being part of the Premier League, De Bruyne has seen at first hand the talent that is currently in the England squad and is tipping them to make their mark at the next two major tournaments.
“I think they should be very excited. It is a very young team with a lot of potential and I think they should aim to win the next Euros and World Cup – I think they have that potential,” he said.
“There are always a lot of teams who want to win it, but I think the team they have, the players who play in top clubs, they should do that.”
Belgium are currently the world’s top-ranked team and beat England twice at the 2018 World Cup but they will be without key men Dries Mertens and Eden Hazard on Sunday.
“It is going to be a tough test but these are the tests that are necessary for us to see what is going to happen against a big team,” the 29-year-old said.
“With the personnel we are losing at the moment it is going to be a bit harder but we are confident that we can play a good game tomorrow.”
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez is frustrated at having Mertens missing, with the Napoli forward still stuck in Italy due to Covid-19 regulations even though other players have been allowed to leave the country.
“It is still a difficult subject to speak about because we have never been in this situation before with what the Covid brings,” Martinez said.
“This is something to do with the local authorities in south Italy. At the moment we are waiting to see what will happen. We have seen some players from Italy joining the national team so you don’t really know if something will change in 24 hours but it looks very unlikely.
“I don’t think we can count on Dries Mertens for the game. We will try until the end, it is very unfair that a player like Dries Mertens, who is always committed to the national team and very close to 100 caps and we are going to try and wait as long as we can and give him every chance to be involved in the camp.
“But we have to be realistic that it is going to be difficult.”
Martinez is expecting a tough test against the Three Lions and shares De Bruyne’s view that they are primed to finally end 54 years of hurt.
“Since 1995 I am a coach that was born in Britain, I know there has been a real development in the winning mentality,” the former Swansea, Wigan and Everton manager said.
“The young age groups are winning World Cups, the players are winning at a young age and that comes through to the first team and now Gareth is discovering that.
“His players are as good as anyone individually in world football and it is just a matter of time that they will get that trophy or major result in a major tournament.”
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