ENGLAND centre-back JOHN STONES gives the lowdown ahead of The Three Lions’ final clash with Italy!
WHAT IT MEANS!
STONES SAYS: “It’s huge! With it being at Wembley, it’s even more special! It’s something we could’ve only dreamt of really at the start of the tournament. We’ve just grown and grown throughout the tournament, not put too much pressure on ourselves. All the learning curves and experiences we’ve been through has got us to where we are on Sunday!”
STONES SAYS: “From my personal perspective, it’s approaching the game how we have every other game in this tournament! Everyone’s giving everything for that shirt and the nation. We all love the England team, growing up as fans, we absolutely cherish it. On Sunday we’ll be fighting for everything!”
MESSAGE TO THE FANS!
STONES SAYS: “It’s difficult to put it into words! We’ve definitely thrived off the fans and I suppose we’re living their dream. We can’t thank them enough for all their support – through the tough times and the good times. They turn up every game, and the support’s deeply appreciated by us. We’re proud to represent them and the country and hope we do them proud on Sunday!”
STONES SAYS: “Over the last decade, the Italian teams have always been very well organised, defensively solid. I remember the last game against Spain, it was a tight game. We’ve watched lots of games and clips and try not to over-flood our minds and concentrate on ourselves. They’ve got some great attacking quality!”
STONES SAYS: “I’m a big fan of Raheem’s and I’d love to see him get Player Of The tournament! I think what he’s done for us and the unselfish part of his game goes unspoken about but as players we see it. He’s been a great threat going forward and how direct he’s been in the games. It’s been great playing with him and I’ll sure he’ll be giving everything on Sunday and hopefully get another goal!”
STONES SAYS: “I think we’ve got the best defensive record in the competition. I think it’s a major factor why we’ve got to the final! Keeping clean sheets is a platform for us to go and win games – and that’s everyone playing a part, not just us as a back four or back five. It starts right from the top of the pitch, how we’ve pressed and won the ball back!”
STONES SAYS: “We’ve come so far as a team, made so many big steps, made a lot of history. Sunday’s another chance for us to do that. That’s something that motivates me, excites me and really pushes me on. It’s about being as prepared as we can be and giving everything for my team-mates, for the shirt, for the nation and getting it over the line!”