England can win a major tournament — says Burnley's Nick Pope as draw for 2022 Qatar World Cup is made!
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The Three Lions have been getting closer and closer to a first success since 1966 under Gareth Southgate.
They then reached their first final since lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy when losing out to Italy in last summer's European Championships.
Asked if he believes the nation can go one better again, Pope said: "I think so. Nobody's going to give it to us, but with the players that we've got, and the ages of them all, along with that experience that they've all got now, the signs are good.
"A lot of players in the England squad have now played in a Champions League final, a World Cup semi-final, a Euros final and players underneath that, who are all coming through, have played an Under 19s final and an Under 17s final. There are some unbelievable talents."
Burnley's two-time Player of the Year recipient returned to St George's Park last week after being overlooked for a couple of squads at the back end of last year.
And he confirmed that there was a really good buzz around the place. "It's something that has been built up over many camps and many years," said the 29-year-old. "It's enjoyable on the pitch, which is where you obviously spend a great amount of time, but you also spend a lot of time off it. It's enjoyable for both sides.
"It's something that you need as a nation moving forward because if you're wanting to win major tournaments you're going to have to be in hotels and in camps together that can last four or five weeks. It's a great environment to be a part of, which is a really positive sign for the England national team."
The ex-Charlton Athletic stopper kept his seventh clean sheet in eight appearances for his country when joining Colin McDonald as Burnley's most-capped England goalkeeper.
He didn't have a great deal to do in the 3-0 win over Ivory Coast at Wembley, but he was delighted to get the opportunity to add to his tally ahead of Qatar 2022.
"It was great," he said. "The pool for the England squad is huge, it's not an easy thing to get into.
"England caps aren't easy to come by, whether you play for Burnley, Manchester City or whether it was 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. When you get mentioned in the same breath as great players that have played for this club [Colin McDonald] it's a real privilege."
England were drawn in Group B alongside Iran, their first opponent in November, USA and either Ukraine/Scotland or Wales as the draw was made in Doha.
Pope concluded: "All players who have been in an England shirt in the last year or so will be thinking the same thing (get in the World Cup squad).
"It is important to train well but it will be club form that gets you in the squad and that is what is important for myself from now until the World Cup."