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England can win World Cup but must be 'close to perfect': Southgate

England can win World Cup but must be 'close to perfect': Southgate

Football - International Friendly - England v Ivory Coast - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - Mar 29, 2022. England manager Gareth Southgate during the match. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

England manager Gareth Southgate said they can win the World Cup in Qatar but will have to be "close to perfect" to do so.

England were semi-finalists at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and reached the final of the European Championship last year, where they lost to Italy.

"We have said to the team this week, 'If we can get to a semi-final, we can get to a final, and we did. If we can get to a final, we can win,'" Southgate told British media on Thursday (Mar 31).

"To do that is incredibly difficult and we'll have to be as close to perfect as can be. That's the challenge for us, not just when we get to Qatar, because we've got to be in the right condition, even before that."

The World Cup draw is set to be held in Doha later on Friday. The showpiece tournament will be played from Nov 21 to Dec 18.

England have won the World Cup only once, beating West Germany in the 1966 final at Wembley.

"We've definitely got respectability and I think we will be a team other teams wouldn't look forward to playing," Southgate added.

"But that's a double-edged sword though because some teams are going to prepare differently for you."

Source: Reuters/fh

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