Jose Mourinho says ‘it has to be NOW’ for England to end their long wait for glory at Euro 2020 with most of their games at Wembley… as he argues France have FAILED if they don’t lift the trophy
- England could play six of their seven Euro 2020 matches at Wembley
- Jose Mourinho believes the Three Lions will never get a better opportunity
- It’s been a long and often agonising wait for tournament success since 1966
- Gareth Southgate’s side open their group stage against Croatia next Sunday
- But Mourinho is backing France for more glory after 2018 World Cup success
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
Published: 06:51 BST, 5 June 2021 | Updated: 17:55 BST, 5 June 2021
Jose Mourinho believes it’s now or never for England at Euro 2020 as the Three Lions aim to finally win their first tournament since 1966.
Gareth Southgate’s men will have home advantage for the majority of the tournament if they go all the way with Wembley set to host the semi-finals and the final.
But Mourinho believes this could be both a blessing and a curse with the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham manager backing France to follow up their World Cup triumph in 2018 with another success this summer.
Jose Mourinho says it’s now or never for England with much of Euro 2020 on home soil
England open their Euro campaign against Croatia at Wembley next Sunday and will rank among the favourites despite hiccups in their preparation
Gareth Southgate is preparing to shoulder the expectations of the nation once again
‘England is probably – with Brazil – one of the two most difficult countries to be a national coach because of what people expect from the team,’ Mourinho told The Sun.
‘It’s a difficult country and we expect a lot from them. Culturally, instead of support them from day one until the last day, we start immediately with some negativity around them.
‘They have to be very strong emotionally to cope with that pressure. If they do that, they have a big chance.
‘The group phase is at home. The semi-finals and final is at home.
Bukayo Saka (right) scored England’s winning goal in Wednesday’s friendly against Austria
But there was a huge setback with Trent Alexander-Arnold suffering a thigh injury
‘It has to be now, because it was in 1966. It wasn’t in Euro ’96 because of a penalty shootout which is something very unpredictable. They have to push with everything this time.’
England’s build-up to the tournament has been far from ideal with an injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold ruling him out while key players Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire are also in their own fitness races.
Southgate has just one more match to fine-tune his team, a friendly with Romania at Middlesbrough on Sunday, before their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia.
France are the tournament favourites and Mourinho believes this is entirely justified.
Mourinho believes Kylian Mbappe will make the difference for favourites France at the Euros
‘France could make an A team, B team and C team because in this moment they have an incredible number of top players,’ he said.
‘When you have Kylian Mbappe on your side it’s very difficult not to win.
‘I cannot see any weaknesses. If I had to say one team to win it, I will say them – because the group of players is fantastic.
‘They have to win it. If not, it is an unsuccessful Euros.’