England’s current crop have a “fearlessness” and “swagger” to them that will help them at Euro 2020, according to Rio Ferdinand.
Gareth Southgate’s team kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia at Wembley, marking the first time that England have started a European Championships with a victory.
Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game after 57 minutes as England overcame a Croatian team that knocked them out of the semi-finals of the World Cup only three years ago.
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While not the most emphatic display, former England and Manchester United defender Ferdinand pinpointed what makes this group of players different to previous national teams.
“What I’m loving about this squad is that there’s a fearlessness about them because that comes with age,” he said on BBC Sport.
“When you haven’t been scarred by any previous tournaments - we’ve had loads of that over the years. These young lads that are coming through now haven’t got that.
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“When you see Phil Foden coming into the tournament, bleaching his hair. You see Mason Mount talking about Modric, one of the best midfielders of his generation, with an arrogance, but a good arrogance that we like to see. That shows you that these boys have a swagger about them.
“They’ve all won tournaments as kids coming through for England which is an important factor.”
Former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard concurred with Ferdinand and used some of his experience in the dressing room at Stamford Bridge to draw a comparison.
“I noticed that as a player in the generation when Spain were the top team for a while and when France then took over,” he said.
“They would come through the dressing room at Chelsea and they had something about them.
“Sometimes our Englishness says ‘this could go wrong,’ but they believed in themselves. There’s a tiny bit about this [England] group like that.”
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