ENGLAND can win the inaugural Star Sixes this summer – because Steven Gerrard’s squad would even give Gareth Southgate’s class of 2017 a run for their money!
That’s the tongue-in-cheek verdict of Phil Neville, the latest addition to the Three Lions team for the six-a-side tournament for iconic former internationals taking place at The O2, London, from July 13-16.
The former Manchester United and Everton defender, who won 59 caps for England, joins Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and David James in Gerrard’s ten-man squad, with a further four additions to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
England’s strong-looking side will face fierce competition for the Star Sixes trophy as they prepare to renew old rivalries with some of the world’s greatest players of recent years.
Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pirès, Roberto Carlos and Michael Ballack are just some of the legends they will be up against.
But Neville believes England have got a real chance of winning.
“We’ve got a squad of really fit lads and there’s top quality, too, so we’re fired up to take England all the way,” he said.
“We could probably give the current England team a decent game, to be fair!” he laughed.
“The one current player I’d love in our side would be Harry Kane – he’s a fantastic finisher, has a brilliant attitude and works his socks off.”
Neville knows it will not be easy for England, who kick off against Carles Puyol’s Spain on Thursday, July 13 and end their Group A games against Mexico on Saturday, July 15.
In between is a ‘Battle of Britain’ clash with the Auld Enemy as England face Scotland, and Neville thinks it will be as intense as any game featuring football’s oldest rivalry.
“I work with Don Hutchison, who is playing for Scotland at Star Sixes, and he tells me they are really up for it, getting fit and already training,” he said.
“I am sure it will be ferocious and even a little bit feisty. Once you get out there the juices will be flowing and it will be as competitive as ever.”
Neville sees Spain, Brazil, Portugal and Germany as powerful too.
“Spain have a good young squad, Brazil and Portugal have the flair, and of course Germany can always win on penalties – that’s a given!” he joked.
“It should be really exciting.
“I knew about Star Sixes from seeing all the billboards and publicity and thought it would be a great event to watch, so to get the call to take part was a real thrill.
“It is always an honour to pull on an England shirt and with the home fans behind us at The O2, the atmosphere should be electric. I can’t wait.”
Phil Neville is the latest signing for Star Sixes, a new six-a-side world cup for legends taking place at The O2, London, July 13-16. Tickets, starting at just £30 adults and £10 children, are on sale at Ticketmaster and AXS.