Declan Rice urges England to take next step in bid to end wait for major trophy

Declan Rice has challenged England to go one step further and land a first major trophy since 1966.

Gareth Southgate’s side lost to France in the World Cup quarter-final in Qatar having previously lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy.

The Euro 2024 edition sees England and Italy face off again in the opening qualifier in Naples.

England have not won away to Italy since 1961 but will be keen to lay down a marker to prove that they can beat the world’s best to win silverware.

“Without a doubt, yes,” the West Ham captain replied when asked if the loss to France will be used as motivation moving forward.

“I think if we look at ourselves after that France game, we took a lot of positivity from the game, even though we lost.

“As a group of players, there was a real belief in the room that we can compete with the best but it’s down to us now to go that one step ahead and beat a top nation and win a trophy.

“That’s all that is on our minds and starting tomorrow night trying to beat Italy and starting our campaign off well.”

If England are to end their winless streak against Italy, skipper Harry Kane is likely to be called upon to get the goals in Naples.

Kane is just one goal away from becoming England’s all-time leading goalscorer – but has never found the back of the net against the Azzurri.

“I think you can see every time he scores a goal how much it means to him,” Rice said of Kane.

“Every goal, every training session and everything he does is to such a top level. If he breaks the record tomorrow night it will be thoroughly deserved.”