Reece James is heading into his first senior international tournament full of confidence after our Champions League triumph, and he believes England have a genuine possibility of winning Euro 2020.
The defender was magnificent for Chelsea in Porto, doing his prospects of starting for the Three Lions no harm. Whether that is at right-back, right wing-back or on the right side of a back three remains to be seen, as boss Gareth Southgate keeps his options open ahead of his side’s first game against Croatia on Sunday.
Whatever formation or shape he opts for, James has said this could be the year England break their duck in the European Championships.
‘I think now is probably the best chance we’ve ever had to achieve something so big in the tournament,’ the 21-year-old said.
‘We’ve got so many great players and so many players that have won titles and won many major honours.
‘I think we definitely have a good enough team to go all the way in this tournament and I don’t see why we can’t.’
One of those James is competing for a spot with is Kyle Walker, an opponent in Portugal a fortnight ago but now an international team-mate.
The smooth mixing of Chelsea and Man City players in the England group following that final has been achieved, according to James, who is still pinching himself after our glory in domestic football’s biggest game.
‘I didn’t expect to win it so young,’ he said. ‘There are so many great players who haven’t had the chance to win it. To win it so young, I’m over the moon and grateful.
‘I think winning the Champions League final and playing against such a high quality team and coming away with the win is going to boost anyone’s confidence but doing it against the Premier League champions gives you a boost as well.
‘Coming here you need to step away from club rivalry. We had Man City in the final but when we come here we’re a collective team. We put it to one side. We’re one team here and we need to work together.’