Bookmakers, the UK government and manager Roy Hodgson may have downplayed the chances of England in the 2014 World Cup, but star striker Wayne Rooney believes that the English side is capable of winning the tournament that starts in Brazil next month.
England are considered outsiders for the 2014 World Cup title and many experts believe that the inexperienced side may struggle to progress from their tough group, which includes Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, but Rooney told The Mirror that the current English squad can deliver long-suffering fans their first World Cup title since 1966.
“Success for me would be winning it,” Rooney said.
“We’re not going to make up the numbers, we’re going to try and win the tournament and I think that’s the attitude we’ve got to have.
“We have to go with the mentality we can win it; any tournament you play in, you’ve got to believe you can win it.
“There’s no point otherwise.”
Rooney made his World Cup debut for England in 2006, but struggled for fitness in the lead-up to the tournament and did not make an impact for his country before being sent off in England’s quarter final loss to Portugal.
The Manchester United striker carried a great deal of his nations hopes into the 2010 World Cup, but he was one of several English players that failed to deliver at the tournament and was unable to get on the score sheet.
Once again, Rooney is heading into the World Cup under an injury cloud, after missing Manchester United’s final two games of the English Premier League season with a groin injury, but the 28-year-old remains confident that he will be fully fit for England’s opening match against Italy on June 15 and can deliver in a major international tournament for the first time in his career.
You always feel this can be your tournament,” Rooney said.
“It hasn’t happened for me at the last two World Cups, but I’ve prepared as well as I can for this tournament.
“I’ll be ready and fully fit and I’m really excited about that.
“It’s about the team and as a team we have to do well and I’m hoping I can be part of that.
“I know if I have the tournament I know I can have, then we’ll do really well.”
England are currently available at odds of $29 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes Australia, while Rooney is priced at $41 to win the Golden Boot award for being the top goal scorer of the tournament.