The expectation facing England at the World Cup is greater than it is for any team other than host Brazil, according to former international striker Emile Heskey.
As Roy Hodgson’s players stepped up their preparations ahead of Friday’s friendly with Peru at Wembley, Heskey, our Sony expert who will be following England this summer, gave an indication of how the team will be feeling as the tournament draws closer.
“The pressure of playing in a World Cup for England is high and you know that,” said Heskey, capped 62 times by his country. “It’s probably higher than any other team apart from Brazil playing in Brazil.”
However, the former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker, celebrating his honeymoon before all the action starts next month, believes England have the strength to cope with the weight of responsibility.
“You’ve really got to block that out of your mind and concentrate on doing well for your team-mates and your country,” he added. “It’s pressure that we’ve dealt with before, for myself dealt with before, playing throughout the years, so it shouldn’t really affect you that much.”
Heskey played in two World Cups for England, with arguably his finest moment coming when he scored in the 5-1 rout of Germany in Munich in 2001, during qualification for the tournament in Japan and South Korea.