Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'We Want to Write Our Own History' ALLI SAYS ENGLAND ARE SET ON EMULATING THE HEROES OF 1966alli: We Want to Be like the Heroes of 1966 and Win This

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'We Want to Write Our Own History' ALLI SAYS ENGLAND ARE SET ON EMULATING THE HEROES OF 1966alli: We Want to Be like the Heroes of 1966 and Win This

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson in Moscow

DELE ALLI says England are determined to follow in the footsteps of the World Cup giants of 1966 tonight and repay fans for sticking by the team during 52 years of hurt.

Victory against Croatia here at the Luzhniki Stadium will put England into the final for the first time since Sir Alf Ramsey's side lifted the trophy at Wembley.

Some of the greats from that team have been backing the current generation to triumph, including Sir Geoff Hurst, the striker who scored a hat-trick against West Germany to secure a memorable 4-2 triumph.

Alli (left) admits he and his team-mates are inspired by what the 1966 squad achieved and want to do the same. He told Standard Sport: "We want to join the 1966 legends. We want to achieve something great. It is not so much about becoming a legend, but Continued on Page 54 Continued from Back Page we would love to join them in winning the World Cup.

"It is amazing to hear that Sir Geoff Hurst is backing us to win the competition. There are a lot of people back home that have been showing us support and we can't thank them enough. "Sir Geoff is a legend in English football and it certainly means a lot to us that he is behind us. We just have to keep believing and keep trying to achieve something. We want to write our own history now. I hope we can create a miracle. We knew it was always going to be difficult to win the World Cup, but we have always believed that we can."

England have not reached the last four of a World Cup since 1990 and last reached a semi-final at a major competition in 1996. The past 22 years has seen the fanbase grow increasingly disillusioned with disappointment after disappointment, including a shock loss to Iceland at Euro 2016. An opportunity to make amends is giving the players even more motivation.

Spurs midfielder Alli added: "We want to do it for the country. It has been hard for the fans in recent years, but we are in a really good place now. We are all really excited. …

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