England ‘on the verge’ of winning a major championship – Pep Guardiola

Gareth Southgate takes his side to Euro 2024 having been runners-up last time around and then World Cup semi-finalists.

Andy Hampson
Friday 03 May 2024 22:30 BST
Pep Guardiola guided Manchester City to European glory last year (Nick Potts/PA)
Pep Guardiola guided Manchester City to European glory last year (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

Pep Guardiola believes England are ready to take a leaf out of Manchester City’s book and achieve European success.

Guardiola finally guided City to Champions League glory last season after a number of near misses in the preceding years.

He feels Gareth Southgate’s national team have been following a similar trajectory and are now ready to take the top prize as they head to Euro 2024 this summer.

The City manager said: “They are really good. It’s not just the talent of the strikers, it’s the whole package, the whole group and Gareth knows perfectly what he has to do.

“So I have the feeling, everyone has the feeling, that the England national team, (from) the last events – the World Cup and European Championship – they make steps, they are on the verge, they are really close. They lost a final, got to a semi-final.

“When you arrive at these stages every two years, it’s going to happen. It’s quite similar to us, we were close, and in the end we lifted it.

“I see the reaction when they play European Cups or World Cups, people go crazy on the streets. They go crazy for the national team.

“That proves how proud they are and, at the end of the day, as a football player, that is the best, your country is proud of what you are doing for your country, and the way you are playing, reaching the last stages.

“Just believe it. If they believe it, they can do it. Believe it, believe it, they can do it.”

City midfielder Phil Foden could have a key role to play for England after an outstanding season at club level.

The 23-year-old’s performances were recognised as he was named the Football Writers’ Association men’s Player of the Year on Friday.

Guardiola believes Foden, who has progressed through the club’s youth ranks to become one of their most important players, could go on to become one of City’s greatest ever.

“This club has a long, long history,” said Guardiola at a press conference.

“You can’t forget what happened with the players who played at Maine Road, like everyone knows. I think the club has been built with many, many top-quality players.

“But I have the feeling if he continues his career until the end here, and continues that level, he can be one of the best, that’s for sure.”

Foden is one of a strong squad that has consistently delivered and are now chasing a fourth successive Premier League title and second consecutive domestic double.

Guardiola insists his impression of his players will not change even if they fall short this time.

The Spaniard, whose side host Wolves on Saturday, said: “It’s not going to change at all my opinion, if we win or don’t win the title.

“Of course we want it but we are fighting for something no team in this country has done ever – ever – so of course it’s a big challenge and we want it.

“But (change) opinion? No chance. I love them so much.”

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