England coach Gareth Southgate has set his sights on the “missing piece” of the country because his goal is to win the World Cup in 2022.
England won the Grand Slam trophy for the first time since England lost to Italy on a penalty kick in the Euro 2020 final in July 1966.
Three years after England lost to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, the heartbreaking loss at Wembley occurred.
But after easily qualifying for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Southgate’s team started looking for silverware again.
England will head to Qatar as one of the most popular teams, and Southgate knows that winning a trophy will end his impressive reign.
“We went to Russia in 2018 and haven’t won the knockouts in 10 years. This is our first goal,” Southgate told Sky news.
“Now that we have entered the finals, we have broken a lot of historical records and created our own historical moments, so the missing part is the trophy, which is very difficult, but we have this belief that we can do it.
“We know that there are other teams, two teams (Italy and Portugal) have entered the play-offs and can win that trophy, frankly, so the level is really high, even among the top teams.
“Although we think we have good players, we know that other teams also have good players… We know that the level is high, but we feel that we belong to that group of teams.”
Although Southgate was criticized for his cautious tactics and substitutions in the Euro 2020 final, after decades of downturn, he changed the England team to a large extent and was widely praised.
At the time, he described the final defeat as a stomach emptied, but now he looks back at the European Cup more affectionately.
“I think this is an extraordinary year,” he said. “As part of this year, this will always come to our minds to enter the finals instead of crossing the line, but if I look at it logically as a coach who improves on the team, we have been top in the past two qualifiers-Europe Scorer.
“I think we have also achieved the best defensive record in the world in the past 12 months or so. We are 22 minutes behind in 19 games this calendar year and the players’ performance is incredible.
“They dealt with the pressure at home in big games, they managed to qualify for the World Cup, as we have seen from other well-known countries, this is not taken for granted.
“A lot of young players have gone through stronger and more experienced experiences. This is just the missing part of winning the finals.”