Steven Gerrard is delighted to get the chance to play in another World Cup Finals, but he is playing down England’s chances of actually winning the thing.
The Liverpool midfielder missed the 2002 Finals in South Korea and Japan due to a groin injury, but he scored in both the 2006 edition in Germany and the 2010 tournament in South Africa. And having notched the decisive goal in the 2-0 win over Poland on Tuesday night, which booked England’s place in Brazil next summer, he is set to appear in a third World Cup.
The manner in which Roy Hodgson’s side played against the Poles at Wembley, on the back of a 4-1 win against Montenegro on Friday night, has naturally heightened expectations that the Three Lions can make good progress in Rio. However, Gerrard, who will captain the side in South America, has played down the chances of emulating the side which conquered the world in 1966.
“I have said all week there is a good confidence and belief in the group, but at the same time we are going to keep ourselves grounded and stay humble,” said Gerrard, who won cap number 107 against Poland. “It is important now that it does not flip and everyone thinks we are going to go and win the World Cup, that we are favourites and everyone gets carried away.
“What is important is we have shown everyone we are a good team. We have not felt sorry for ourselves when we have had criticism, we have rolled our sleeves up, tried to work hard and put it right. It is a great feeling to be in Brazil and hopefully we can surprise a few.”