Jack Grealish senses England finally have the self-belief to deliver a major trophy in Germany next summer. England, crushed after the quarter-final defeat at the World Cup three months ago, are feeling good about themselves again as they begin their Euros qualifying campaign against Italy in Naples.
“I thought we played so well in the whole World Cup. People who I play with who were there with other countries told me they thought we were going to win it,” said Grealish. “It was a game we were devastated to lose but it boosted the confidence going into these qualifiers.
“We’ve got a great team here and you look around and a lot of Players are in really good form - whether that be Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, myself... then even people like Luke Shaw playing well for their clubs. I feel like we’re in a really good space at the moment.
“We have come close so many times. The last three tournaments have been a semi-final, a final and then the quarters. I think it is obvious what we want to do. I feel like the next one really could be our one.
“Everyone will be in their prime. It’s no secret that we all want to win a tournament – and I do think it is there to be done.”
England, who have not won in Italy since 1961, start off at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona before taking on Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday. “You could say these are going to be our two hardest qualifiers,” said Grealish.
“We haven’t had the best record there but it’s a game we all want to play in and all want to win,” said Grealish. “It will be an interesting game and I’m sure it will be a lively atmosphere at an iconic stadium.”
In the absence of Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford, Grealish is likely to start in Naples as one of England’s two wide Players along with Saka as club rivalries are shelved and Gareth Southgate’s men go again.
“I’m playing for City on the wing, he’s playing for Arsenal on the wing and we are both going for the Premier League but that is one thing that the manager here at England has done so well. We feel like a group of team-mates that are together,” said Grealish.