Wednesday 13 December 2017

Rio Ferdinand writes off England's Euro 2016 chances

Rio Ferdinand in action for England. Photo: PA
Rio Ferdinand in action for England. Photo: PA

England will not get beyond the quarter-finals at Euro 2016, according to Rio Ferdinand.

Around 40 England players attended a gathering at the National Football Centre in Burton-upon-Trent on Thursday as boss Roy Hodgson hones his preparations for this summer's tournament in France.

The get-together took place in the evening after the players had trained with their respective clubs.

It is understood players who have been involved with England over the past 12 months were present at the private meeting, so they were no unexpected names in attendance. They included Everton's Tom Cleverley, who has not featured for his country since November 2013, but was called into the squad last summer.

The Football Association (FA) insists the absence of any player from the mid-winter meeting, which was organised to plug the four-month gap between international fixtures, does not mean they will definitely miss out on Hodgson's squad for the Euros.

A smaller squad of around 23 will convene next month when England play friendlies in Germany and at home to Holland.

But former defender Ferdinand is not backing his country to make an impact at the tournament.

Hodgson's men coasted into this summer's finals, enjoying a 100 per cent record in qualification for the first time. They will face Russia, Wales and Slovakia in Group B in France.

Questions still linger, though, over the Three Lions' capabilities against the very best nations in the world.

The meetings with Germany and Holland should offer a better idea of where England are at, but Ferdinand's mind already appears made up.

Asked whether England can make it past the quarter-finals, Ferdinand, capped 81 times, told NDTV: "No.

"Based on what I have seen I don't think so.

"To go through the quarters and the semis and the final of this tournament and potentially win it, you've got to beat a France, you've got to beat a Germany and/or you've got to beat a Spain.

"I don't think England will be able to do that, given what we have seen. I just don't think they are capable."

Press Association

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