Every World Cup it’s the same thing – ‘This is England’s time’, so why should this year be any different.
Every major tournament (that the team qualifies for) is the big chance to bury the demons of the 1966 world champion team and create some new history but every time it ends in failure.
In 2008 there was no qualification for the European championships, 2006 and 2002 there were quarter-finals at the World Cup, Euro 2000 was a disappointment and the 1998 World Cup spurned a second round exit but no matter what happens at the last major tournament, England supporters feel something big is just around the corner.
But this time, they have the right to be optimistic because the squad guided by Fabio Capello actually has the quality to achieve success in South Africa.
In saying that, a lot rests on the shoulders of Wayne Rooney and if he fails to fire then goals could be hard to come by but at least there are a few other options in the way of Peter Crouch who has a proven international goalscoring record and midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard who are no stranger to hitting the back of the net.
Supporters and media alike feel a wave of hopefulness heading into South Africa and this year it may just be vindicated.
Playing schedule: USA (Rustenburg) June 12; Algeria (Cape Town) June 18; Slovenia (Port Elizabeth) June 23
Also known as: Three Lions
Manager: Fabio Capello (ITA)
Captain: Rio Ferdinand/Steven Gerrard
Key players: Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney
Wildcard: Jermain Defoe
Player to watch: James Milner
Most caps: Peter Shilton (125). Of this squad: Steven Gerrard (80)
Top goalscorer: Bobby Charlton (49). Of this squad: Wayne Rooney (25)
FIFA ranking: 8
Qualifying: Top of Group 6 of UEFA group stage.
Best result: Winners – 1996
Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Ledley King (Tottenham)
John Terry (Chelsea)
Matthew Upson (West Ham)
Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)
Gareth Barry (Manchester City)
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Joe Cole (Chelsea)
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
James Milner (Aston Villa)
Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)
For more World Cup news, click on the following link -