Rooney: This could be England's year to win World Cup

England is well poised to win a first World Cup since 1966, according to former captain Wayne Rooney.

Former England striker Wayne Rooney   -  Getty Images

Wayne Rooney believes "this could be the year" that England end a 52-year wait to win the World Cup again. The former England captain - who is his country's all-time leading scorer - last played for the Three Lions in November 2016.

Since then, England's fortunes have been transformed under the guidance of Gareth Southgate, who leads his side into a last-16 tie against Colombia on Tuesday.

Rooney - who has just joined MLS side DC United on a three-and-a-half-year deal - has seen enough from Southgate's young squad to suggest it could match the achievements of the class of 1966, which won the World Cup on home turf.

"There's some big teams gone out of the World Cup and this could be the year England can go far, and hopefully win it," he told Fox.

FULL COVERAGE: FIFA WORLD CUP

England impressed in its opening two wins over Tunisia and Panama, but came unstuck against Belgium in its third outing, slipping to a 1-0 defeat.

Rooney is not concerned by that loss, though, believing it has set them up for a charge towards the latter stages of the tournament.

"I think certainly the first two games they were excellent. It's refreshing to see a lot of young players, a lot of energy, a lot of high pressing, they're scoring goals and are exciting as well," he added.

"It's an exciting time to be an England fan. The game against Belgium was probably a game no one wanted to win and I think losing the game might actually benefit England to go further in the World Cup, to be on the right side of the draw which I believe they are."

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

Read the Free eBook

  Dugout videos