England not among World Cup favourites, says captain Gerrard

England captain Steven Gerrard has said Roy Hodgson’s side are not one of the favourites to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Guardian has reported.

Gerrard pointed to the FIFA rankings to back up his point that England must be considered outsiders at best, insisting that while the Three Lions will travel to South America with faith in their abilities, they cannot be pushed as likely winners. “We’re not one of the favourites, we know that,” Gerrard said.

At the same time, you’ve got to go into the tournament with a bit of belief and confidence, and give it your best shot,” the Liverpool skipper said. “But, of course, there are better teams out there than us. You only need to look at the rankings and where we are.

Gerrard was speaking after England suffered two home defeats in a matter of days, first going down 2-0 to Chile and then 1-0 to Germany. The 33-year-old compared the mood around the national team today to that immediately after qualification was guaranteed. “I think these results will bring people a little bit down from where they were after Poland and Montenegro,” he continued. “There will be a bit of realism and perspective out there.

You go into a World Cup where people judge you fairly, and they’re not blowing you up to what you’re not going to be,” Gerrard added. “There’s not too much expectation and pressure on the players. I’m sure that will help us.

England are currently ranked 10th by FIFA. World Cup holders Spain are top, with Tuesday’s Wembley victors Germany second. Chile, meanwhile, are only two places below England, according to the most recent FIFA classification.

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