England legend Paul Gascoigne has called for the Three Lions’ individual stars to ‘gel together’ at this year’s World Cup.
The Three Lions hero has sent a message to the likes of James Maddison, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden before they depart for the tournament, telling them the key to success in Qatar.
The former Tottenham Hotspur star has recalled his experience at the World Cup back in 1990 in Sky’s documentary ‘Italia 90: Four weeks that changed the world’.
It will air on November 13, exactly one week before this year’s competition kicks-off.
Gascoigne was a crucial part of Sir Bobby Robson’s side that reached the semi-finals of Italia 90, with the midfielder picking up two assists on their route to penalty shootout heartbreak against Germany.
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Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the tournament was announced on Thursday afternoon, with the likes of Maddison, Grealish and Foden all earning themselves call-ups.
With just over a week to go until the World Cup commences, Gascoigne has stressed the importance of Southgate’s individual talents working together as they eye success in Qatar.
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“We have got some quality players there [in the squad], but we are talking now individual players,” he told PA.
“You have got to look at a team player – I was fortunate, because in 1990 and then at Euro 96, we were a team.
“Today’s teams have got a quite a few individual players, but it is whether you gel together, that is more important than anything else.”
Although England’s journey in Italia 90 ended in a painful manner against Germany, Gascoigne commended the squad’s spirit as they reached the semi-finals for what was then the second time ever.
“In 1990, I was so proud of the players that didn’t play because when we scored, they were all up celebrating, there was nobody who sulked if they were not playing – some of them went there and never got a game, but they were still behind us, which is what the players are going to need more than anything.
“I was just 23 and the other players were coming into their prime, like Bryan Robson, John Barnes, Chris Waddle, Peter Beardsley, Gary Lineker, Terry Butcher, Peter Shilton, Stuart Pearce – they were unbelievable.
“So I was fortunate to be amongst all them and they just let me get on and enjoy myself, and of course Bobby Robson was a brilliant manager.”
England’s first match in the group stages will be against Iran, before they face the USA and Wales as the Three Lions dream of lifting the World Cup trophy for the second time ever.
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