Glenn Hoddle believes Gareth Southgate’s England side will not be special until they have succeeded in lifting a major trophy.
England host Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night bidding to reach their first final at a major tournament since 1966.
Southgate’s men have yet to concede a goal at Euro 2020, but Denmark have reached the semi-final on a wave of emotion after their key midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during their tournament opener against Finland.
Under Southgate, England have seen a remarkable rise, reaching their first major semi-final since 1996 at the 2018 World Cup only to suffer a galling defeat to Croatia.
But this time, under the 50-year-old, England have more knockout victories than under any previous boss. And they will be boosted by a Wembley crowd of 60,000.
However, Hoddle said: “It (this England team) will only be special if they win it. It’s not special yet.
“England’s ’66 World Cup team wasn’t special until it won the World Cup and then suddenly – we had world class players, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Gordon Banks – but suddenly other players were being spoken about afterwards as world class. They weren’t but because they won the World Cup they’d be in a different league – and rightly so.”
Hoddle, speaking at a Betfair event, told the PA news agency: “I think we will get over the line and I think we will never have a better chance because it’s a home tournament now.
“Everything’s at Wembley, we’ve got crowds back in, so we’re within touching distance of it – but they’ve got to do it.
“(They have to) keep their composure, they’ve got to keep their management of the game. And if they do find themselves conceding a goal and going one-down, that is the test. That would be a major test for them against anyone.”
Hoddle, who managed England between 1996 and 1999, praised Southgate for his management of the team but believes there is more to come from the Three Lions.
“I think they’ve been excellent in the sense that clean sheets are very economical. My one worry going into the tournament was defensively when we come up against the top quality – well, they’re out.
“I think there’s more to come from England, believe it or not. I don’t think we’ve had a ‘wow’ factor performance but tournament football is about progressing and getting through.”
On the manager, he added: ““Brilliant. Everything’s been spot on.
“If we’re in the semi-final of a tournament and we haven’t conceded a goal yet, he’s got to be doing something right. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing against at this level.”
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