MX23RW : Thursday, July 19 13:58:32

Wayne Rooney: 'This could be England's year'

Rooney: 'This could be England's year'
© Reuters
Wayne Rooney hopes that this is the year England make a big impression in the World Cup after being given a 'beneficial' route to the semi-finals.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney has tipped the current crop to emulate their heroes of 1966 and go all the way in this summer's World Cup.

The Three Lions face Colombia in the last 16 on Tuesday evening, seeking their first knockout-stage win in a major tournament since 2006.

England have so far battled to a 2-1 win over Tunisia in Volgograd and crushed Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod, before seeing their momentum halted with a 1-0 defeat to Belgium's second-string side on Thursday.

A favourable quarter-final against either Switzerland or Sweden awaits Gareth Southgate's men if they can overcome Colombia, and Rooney believes that the stars may be aligning.

"There's some big teams gone out of the World Cup and this could be the year England can go far and hopefully win it," he told Fox Sports. "I think certainly the first two games they were excellent.

"It's been refreshing to see a lot of young players, a lot of energy, a lot of high pressing, and they're scoring goals and exciting as well. It's an exciting time to be an England fan.

"The game against Belgium was a bit of a game which probably no one wanted to win. Losing the game might actually benefit England to go further in the World Cup, to be on the right side of the draw which I believe they are."

Rooney, who scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for England before retiring last August, will be unveiled as a DC United player on Monday afternoon.

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Wayne Rooney in action for Everton on April 7, 2018
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