Thursday, May 23, 2024

Pep Guardiola backs England for Euro 2024 success

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 May 2024

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes it is only a matter of time before England get over the line at a major international tournament and gives them every chance of triumphing at Euro 2024.

England are among the favourites to win this summer’s Euros in Germany along with the host nation, France, Spain and Portugal.

The Three Lions were runners-up at Euro 2020 after losing in heart-breaking fashion on penalties to Italy in the final at Wembley.

They have also come close in the last two World Cup tournaments, making the semi-finals in 2018 and the last eight in 2022.

Guardiola, who has England stars like Phil Foden, John Stones, Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish in his Man City squad, drew comparisons his side knocking on the door in the Champions League for many years before their eventual continental success in 2023.

He would also have closely watched many of his former Barcelona players play a key role in the Spain team at Euro 2008, which would prove to be the first of three straight major tournament successes after many years of near misses for La Roja before that.

With Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham among England’s options for the tournament, Guardiola likes what he sees.

“The national team? Really good. But it’s not just the talent of the strikers, it’s the whole package, the whole group. Gareth [Southgate] knows perfectly what he has to do,” Guardiola told reporters.

“I have the feeling, everyone has the feeling, that the England national team, in the last events, the World Cup and European Championships, they made steps.

“They are on the verge, they are really close. They lost a final and got to a semi-final.

“When you arrive at these stages every two years, it’s going to happen.

“It’s quite similar to us – we were close and, in the end, we lifted it. Just believe it. If they believe it they can do it, believe it and they can do it.”

The Euros begin on June 14 and England will be expected to top a group that also contains Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia.

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