Jude Bellingham believes England are on the cusp of a major tournament win at Euro 2024 after three near misses under Gareth Southgate.
Real Madrid-bound midfielder Bellingham is just one of a number of young stars available to Southgate in a talented squad that will be among the favourite for next year’s European Championship in Germany.
England was beaten 2-1 by France in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup.
In 2021 it lost the final of the Euro on penalties to Italy and made the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Southgate’s first major tournament in charge.
“England fans can feel it themselves, They’re ambitious, but they’re not stupid. There’s a reason for the kind of expectation and the hype around the team at the minute,” said Bellingham, who has joined up with the Three Lions squad despite an knee injury that will keep him out of Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.
“The truth is that we are delivering. We’d like to deliver a trophy and a tournament win, of course, but I think there’s steps to doing that.
“A lot of the great international teams in the past didn’t win straight away. They had to build for years before they managed to get over the line.
“I think that there’s something similar happening with this England team now. I wouldn’t say patience is the word but just stick with us because we’ll deliver.”
Southgate’s men were more than a match for France for long spells of their World Cup last eight exit in Doha.
Harry Kane blasted a crucial late penalty over the bar as Les Bleus clung on to eventually reach the final, where they lost out on penalties to Argentina.
But Bellingham is hopeful England will be even better for the experience of that disappointment.
“The way we went out was disappointing, but you take confidence in the fact that you can go toe-to-toe with one of the better teams in Europe,” he added.
“It stands you in good stead when you know there’s not many better teams on paper - you’d like to think - that are better than us.
“So, you take that confidence and you take the experience that we’ve gained from the last few.
“The goal is always to try and win it. That should be the goal for all of us going into it and that’s what we’ll try and do.”
England is well on course to qualify for Euro 2024 after beginning their campaign with wins over Italy and Ukraine.
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