Steven Gerrard believes he is the right man to captain England at the World Cup - and admits he has dreamed of lifting the trophy in four weeks time.
Gerrard will lead England into tomorrow’s opening game against the USA after Rio Ferdinand was forced to withdraw from the tournament through a knee injury.
Rather than feeling the pressure, the Liverpool star is relishing leading his country in South Africa and intends to use the extra responsibility to inspire his own performances over the next month.
Gerrard also wants England to fulfil their potential after decades of under-achievement.
He said: “The job of captain has fallen on my shoulders and I am going to use the pressure and expectation to drive me on.
“You also realise there is massive expectation back home and that is what dreams are made of, to go out and win matches for all those people back home.
“I have certainly dreamed about lifting the World Cup and that is what dreams are made of.
“Everyone is desperate to do
well. We want to deliver at this tournament. We feel as if we've under-achieved over the years.
“I look around the squad and that gives me confidence.”
Gerrard knows the importance of England making their mark in the opening game against the USA.
He said: “The first game is always important. It is important to stamp your mark on the tournament and let everyone know what you are about.
“It is a tough opening game but I am sure they are a lot more worried about us.”