Rice ready for 'biggest game'
England’s round of 16 match against historic rivals Germany on Tuesday will be the "biggest game" of Declan Rice’s career.
West Ham United’s 22-year-old defensive midfielder has been speaking about the game and how hard England have been training in the week leading up to the second-round tie with Germany.
And he also admitted that playing in front of supporters at Wembley Stadium at EURO 2020 has been a memorable spectacle.
“It’s incredible," he said, appearing in Sunday's edition of Lions' Den at St. George's Park.
"It’s just special, walking out. You feel the energy. You’re lining up, singing the national anthems and you just feel lads pulling you in tight. It’s just top notch.
“I sing passionately because it gives me a bit of extra energy to go out there and perform. Once that’s done and you have the team photo, that’s it then. It’s go time.”
Rice has won 20 England caps to date, and knows his job is to break up play in midfield and recycle possession so that the Three Lions’ attackers can cause the opposition problems further forward.
“If I can help the team do well, then I’m happy,” he said. “There’s always so much talk, and people expect so much, but I just try to keep my head down and know what I’m good at.
"I know that if I go out there and play to my best, then I can be one of the best players out there. It’s just about staying focused.”
Lions' Den: Episode 20
Declan Rice was our special guest in the Lions' Den on Sunday
Rice is yet to play against Germany in his England career, and the upcoming round of 16 meeting between the two sides will also be his first experience of a knockout match at a major tournament. He can’t wait to rise to the occasion.
“Training this week has been really tough and good — and everyone’s ready, whoever gets picked," he said.
"Training has had to be tough the last couple of days because we start to come off it now, towards the game. The hard training days are done; we know what we want to do. The day before the game will be a light, fun session. Then we’ll be into the game on Tuesday.
“We’ve got players who have played in top games already in their careers, and we’ll be ready to go out there and give it absolutely everything. For me, it will definitely be the biggest game of my career so far if I get the chance to play. You know the history between England and Germany, but this isn’t just like a friendly game. This is in a major tournament. You win, you go through. You lose, you’re out.”
England would face either Sweden or Ukraine in the quarter-final in Rome if they progress.
“We want to win. That will give us that extra boost to then push on again.”
READ ENGLAND v GERMANY PREVIEW