LONDON (AFP) – David Beckham said Friday that England would make it through to next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil as they prepared for their final two key qualifying matches.
England face Montenegro and Poland at Wembley later this month, with victory in both matches enough to ensure qualification for the 2014 World Cup.
But Roy Hodgson’s men have drawn three of their last five matches.
However, former England captain Beckham, asked if the current side were winners, replied Friday: “I do.
“There’s a transitional period that was always going to happen. You see it throughout sport, you see it throughout teams and countries and obviously Roy Hodgson has come in and done a good job.
“There’s a lot of young players in the team and we’ve still got those players that they can look up to like Frank Lampard, like Stevie G (Steven Gerrard),” the former midfielder added.
“There’s players in there that have been in there for many, many years who have experienced World Cups and big games.
“So they have got those players that have got the experience in there, but young players will only learn when they’re playing and that’s what Roy has done.
“He’s brought in a couple of young players that are the future of English football.”
Beckham, who retired from competitive football following a short stint with Paris St Germain last season, said: “I think people like to see winners and see teams and the country you support and live in be the best.
“That’s why we are a country of believers and there are high expectations in our country.
“Whenever we go into a competition, whether it be football, whether it be any other sport, there’s always high expectations and that’s rightly so, because we’re a country that’s passionate about our sport and we’re believers and that should never change.”
The 38-year-old Beckham, speaking at a Sainsbury’s Active Kids event in his native east London, said the past 18 months hailed the impact the city’s staging of the 2012 Olympic Games upon British sport.
“The actual lead-up to the Games, there was so much anticipation, so much excitement and then once the Games began, the fact that we were so successful through those Games, it just added to the excitement and the pride that we all had to actually see our athletes perform as they did.
“That’s when we go back to the children. Children watching the Games, children going to the Games, being able to see these athletes perform and win gold medals and win the medals that we won — it doesn’t get better than that.
“It was a proud year for us as British people. It doesn’t get any better than the year that we had.”