England’s Rice admits mid-season World Cup is taking its toll


DOHA, Qatar (AP) If even Declan Rice admits his cup at Worlds mid-season is proving to be physically demanding, it’s time to be careful.

England’s main midfielder said he was feeling nervous in Sunday’s round of 16 match against Senegal after he had already played three games in Qatar.

“Look, my legs were a little tight,” Rice said. Rice played in all of his country’s first two Group B games, but was substituted after 58 minutes in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Wales.

“I haven’t spoken to the manager yet… But maybe it was to handle my burden,” he added.

With summer temperatures in Qatar sometimes exceeding 37 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), the World Cup will be held in November and December for the first time ever.

This meant domestic competition in the Premier League and other top leagues was suspended, and players were forced into a World Cup-like intensity just months into the season.

Rice was a key figure in Gareth’s Southgate plan, with the England manager pointing out ahead of the tournament that he lacked options in defensive midfield.

This was underscored by the addition of Manchester City player Calvin Phillips to his 26-man squad, though his only one appearance for the club since shoulder surgery in September. . Rice says he is not worried about his ability to last as long as England are in the tournament.

“My record of playing speaks for itself,” he said. “I’ve been playing consistently for the last three years 50, 60 games a season. This is how I keep my body really fresh.

“I keep making sure I’m recovering as best I can and I know I’ll put myself in a situation where I can do that if it’s required in all seven games, seven 90 seconds.

Rice, who reached the semi-finals of his Cup at Russia World 2018 and the final of last year’s European Championship, which was lost on penalties to Italy at Wembley, will be back as England plan to take a big step forward in this tournament. is also good. “Why not be afraid,” he said at a press conference on Thursday. There are players who have played in games of and won the maximum trophies.

“We’re one of the biggest teams here. But it’s up to us to prove it on the pitch. Obviously, a team like France proves it. You won the world championship. they did it consistently. we want to change that now. We want to show all these great nations that we are here. We’re not here just to advance to the Round of 16. We want to go anywhere.