Rio Ferdinand says England want to “give a good account of themselves” at Star Sixes this July and he hopes captain Steven Gerrard will be firing on all cylinders to lead them to glory.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand played 81 times for the Three Lions, leading them out as skipper on seven occasions.
And when he represents his country again in this summer’s inaugural Star Sixes competition on his doorstep at London’s O2 arena, he believes they can compete with the other eleven nations and finally win some international silverware that eluded them during their professional careers.
“We just want to come here and be competitive,” Ferdinand said.
“Yes, we want to win it, there are some big names involved and we are all going to be really competitive and will want to go out there and try and give a good account of ourselves.
“I’m a south London boy so [The O2 is] not too far from where I grew up and from where I live now.
“It’s the entertainments capital of England at the moment, loads of things going on here, so hopefully we can provide more entertainment.”
It will also be a chance for Ferdinand and his England side to renew some rivalries with players they faced for both club and country.
“We’ve had some good battles over the years with players that are involved; Puyol with Barcelona, Ballack with Chelsea, so it will be good to meet up again and talk about old times.
“But when the whistle goes those competitive juices will start flowing around again.”
Ferdinand’s last game for England was in 2011 and he retired from the game in May 2015 after playing a season with QPR, but still likes to keep fit.
Meanwhile, skipper Gerrard, who only hung up his boots in November and also starred – and scored – as recently as Saturday for Liverpool legends against their Real Madrid counterparts in a charity match at Anfield.
So Ferdinand believes he could be the key to them winning the first Star Sixes title.
“He’s got to be fit, I know that,” added Ferdinand.
“We need some fit players. He’s just retired so he’ll be one of our spring chickens who will hopefully help us get over the line and win something.”
England will be among the 12 nations competing at the four-day Star Sixes tournament at The O2 in London from 13 to 16 July 2017.
International legends including Roberto Carlos (Brazil), Robert Pirès (France), Carles Puyol (Spain), Deco (Portugal), Michael Ballack (Germany), Dominic Matteo (Scotland) and Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria) will also be entertaining the fans in the first-ever Star Sixes tournament.