Rooney: England can win 2022 World Cup
Wayne Rooney believes England will be among the contenders to taste World Cup glory in 2022.
Having seen a so-called ‘golden generation’ struggled to deliver on expectations over a number of years, the Three Lions helped to restore national pride on Russian soil this summer.
Gareth Southgate’s side upset the odds to reach the semi-final stage at a global showpiece for the first time since 1990.
There is now renewed hope that an exciting young squad can build on that platform and challenge for more major honours in the future.
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Former England skipper Rooney expects that to be the case, telling CNN World Sport: “The maturity the team showed was fantastic and unfortunately they couldn’t get to the final and have a chance of winning it.
“But I think they had a great tournament, a lot of positives, and that will stand them in good stead going into the next tournament in two years’ time.
“I think that [the 2020 European Championships] will be a huge test to see where they are at for that next World Cup.
“The European Championship is a very difficult tournament to win.
“You know, two years down the line, I think those players will have a bit more experience, and I just hope they get the game time in England and at club level.
“If they do that then I’m sure England will be in a very good position for the next World Cup.”
England are set to start down a path leading to Euro 2020 when they open their campaign in the newly-formed UEFA Nations League.
Tough tests against Spain and World Cup finalists Croatia await in that competition before Southgate’s side discover their opponents for the group stage of qualification.
The draw for that part of the process is due to be held in Dublin on December 2.