Wayne Rooney believes “this could be the year” for England to match the heroes of 1966 and win the World Cup.
The former England captain – who has just joined MLS side DC United – made his last international appearance in November 2016, since then the team have been transformed under the leadership of Gareth Southgate.
With Germany, Argentina and European champions Portugal already knocked out of the tournament, Rooney sees cause for optimism.
‘Moment of truth for England’
England captain Harry Kane says they face their World Cup “moment of truth” against Colombia on Tuesday.
“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 said.
Changes in personnel and tactics have been introduced by Southgate, and Rooney believes the signs are promising as England prepare to tackle Colombia in the last 16 on Tuesday, especially with regard to the Group G wins over Tunisia and Panama.
Speaking about England’s new players and playing style on US broadcaster Fox, Rooney added: “I think certainly the first two games they were excellent.
0:52 Wayne Rooney talks about his ambitions with DC United after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract
“It’s been refreshing to see a lot of young players, a lot of energy, a lot of high pressing, and they’re scoring goals and exciting as well. It’s an exciting time to be an England fan.
“The game against Belgium [a 1-0 defeat] was a bit of a game which probably no one wanted to win.
“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.”
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