The Barcelona legend believes that lowered expectations could allow England to play with more freedom at the 2016 Euros in France this summer.
Xavi was a crucial member of the seemingly unstoppable Spanish team that won the last two Euros and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The 36-year-old midfielder believes that England have a very good chance of going all the way in Euro 2016 in France this summer.
“I think England have a real chance,” said Xavi, according to the Mirror.
“They have some very good players, but I don’t think there will be the same expectation on them to win the tournament.
“That could work for them, because it allows them just to go and play football. If they can get their leader and great player Wayne Rooney back then they have a big chance.”
Xavi thinks that the burden of expectation on the previous English squad which featured the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, was big enough to create a mental block for the players. However, he opined that this generation of English players can benefit from the relative lack of pressure, citing Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, and the ‘guys doing incredible things for Leicester’ as players to look out for.
Premier League underdogs give Hodgson a good squad to choose from
England’s squad this season will feature a number of young stars who have set the Premier League on fire. One of the clubs instrumental in providing great young prospects to England manager Roy Hodgson is Tottenham Hotspur, where Mauricio Pochettino is churning out quality English footballers like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
Their exploits have helped Spurs climb to the second position in the Premier League table, five points behind leaders Leicester City. The duo of Jamie Vardy and Danny Drinkwater have also been handed international starts due to their part contribution to the Foxes’ dramatic rise to the top.
The performances of the clubs outside the big five has led to one of the most riveting title races ever, where the usual contenders like Manchester United and Chelsea have fallen behind, and clubs like West Ham United and Leicester City are competing for Champions League spots.