Declan Rice is hoping England’s men can follow in the footsteps of the country’s women and deliver a major tournament victory at the World Cup in Qatar.
West Ham captain Rice was a key part of Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad as they reached the final before suffering a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy at Wembley.
Rice was also at the national stadium when the Lionesses made history by becoming the first England team – men or women – to win a major trophy since the 1966 World Cup, beating Germany in July’s Euro 2022 final.
The 23-year-old midfielder now has his sights set on a second major title of the calendar year for England, with the World Cup set to get under way in November.
“Definitely (it would be special to lift the World Cup),” Rice told the PA news agency.
“We got so close as a team (at Euro 2020) and then to see the women win it… I was (at Wembley) myself and it was so special to see how the country came together.”
England have struggled for form in recent months, failing to win any of their four Nations League matches to leave them on the brink of relegation from Group A3 with just two points.
However, Rice believes the players know that performance levels must be raised ahead of next month’s trip to Italy and a home clash with Germany which will be their first match at Wembley since March.
England have drawn with Italy and lost to Hungary at Molineux since their last outing at their traditional home.
“I feel like it’s good to go around the smaller stadiums in the country so those fan-bases can see us,” Rice said.
“Obviously it wasn’t the results we wanted, but the lads know that we need to raise the standards and we can do that in September, which is a positive sign.”
On the upcoming encounters with Italy and Germany, he added: “Two massive games, games that you want to play in as an international player, (especially the one) here at Wembley and another chance to keep pushing in the Nations League, so we want to do well.”
England drew 1-1 with Germany when the sides met at the Allianz Arena in June and Rice reckons testing themselves against teams of that calibre will serve them well in Qatar.
“(It’s a) massive (game), you want to test yourself against the best,” he said.
“In the World Cup, if you get through the group it’s obviously knockout games and then you’re playing against the best teams in the world, so you need to test yourself against the best and beat the best to win the tournament.”