Baby, I can't wait

  • by Staff Writer
  • Sunday, 11th July 2021

Declan Rice says he is "buzzing" ahead of Sunday night's Euro 2020 final against Italy - and admits he "can't wait" for the game to begin.

The West Ham midfielder has the opportunity to secure a place in English football history when he steps out tonight at Wembley against Italy to become only the fourth Hammer to play in an international final.

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Declan Rice is set to win his 24th cap in Sunday's final

And perhaps more remarkably it is Rice's first chance to win a trophy of note since he began his professional career five years ago. "It’s a great achievement [for us] to get to the final," he said.

"Sunday is my first chance to win a trophy in football and you’re not going to get a better chance to do it. It’s at Wembley and I doubt I’ll get that again in my career, so you need to grab it with both hands and give everything. We’re ready to run, ready to go to places we’ve never gone before.

"This is a chance to make history and there’s no way we’re not going to go out there and give it everything.

“Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters actually won the World Cup. I’ve only just got to the final but you feel like maybe your name can be put up in that light if you win the tournament."

And the midfielder revealed how he had spent much of his time since England beat Denmark in last Wednesday's semi final talking to his fellow West Ham employees, all of whom have been giving him their full support.

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Rice with mentor Mark Noble

"I’ve been on Facetime to them most days,” he confirmed. “I speak to Mark Noble on FaceTime every day; Fredericks, Cress, I speak to all of them. I miss them. I’ve not seen them for so long now,

"Noble’s been at the games, but that feeling of being at pre-season and having a laugh, I’ve definitely missed them. Noble is like a proud dad. Honestly he is! He calls my dad on the phone speaking about the games, he speaks to me every day. He did a nice piece talking about me and you can just see what he felt speaking about me. It’s amazing.

“[Stuart] Pearce is someone who motivates you and gets you up for big games. He’s someone who’s been there and done it for England and he’s been top for me. We speak at West Ham regularly, we speak about these kind of experiences that I’ll have on Sunday and he prepares you for that.

"You can be honest and have a great chat with him, and he’ll be honest with you and tell you what’s expected, what’s to come and how you can improve your game and take on the occasion. He’s not really fazed by anything. I’m just buzzing for the game and can’t wait for it."

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