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England 'want to make history' at Euro 2024 in potential Gareth Southgate swan song

The jeers were loud and unforgiving after the final whistle was blown at Wembley Stadium as England's final match before Euro 2024 ended in a dismal defeat against Iceland.

There had been a similar reaction from the stands when the players came off at half-time after a first half that saw the visitors take a 12th-minute lead thanks to Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson’s low strike.

Losing at home to Iceland, ranked 72nd in the world, having registered one measly shot on target over a laboured 90 minutes, was a far from ideal send-off and it was a sheepish group of players that set off on a lap of appreciation after the match, with only a smattering of fans left inside the famous stadium.

Despite that disappointment, midfielder Declan Rice insists there is a strong belief in the squad that this is the year England can win their second major tournament after the 1966 World Cup and become champions of Europe for the first time.

“We want to make history,” the Arsenal midfielder said before the team flew off to Germany on Monday afternoon. “We say it all the time, but genuinely we have a group, a manager, that really believes.

“We have a confidence that we can go there and do something really special and, of course, with that comes hard work. That is going to be the main thing – the hard work as a team, unity, togetherness and with everyone behind us at home.”

England's campaign begins on Sunday with their Group C opener against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen – ahead of games against Denmark and Slovenia – and Gareth Southgate's side remain one of the tournament favourites.

Their qualifying campaign struck a familiar cord, finishing unbeaten at the top of Group C, six points clear of Italy having completed an impressive home and away double

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