England can win Euro 2016 – Eirksson

Sven-Goran Eriksson at the 2006 World Cup

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has backed the team to win Euro 2016 this summer.

But the Swede, who led England at three major tournaments during five years in charge, says Roy Hodgson’s squad must cope with the pressure of penalties if they are to triumph in France.

“They have a good team,” he said.

“The qualification games, they won everything and they did it with style. They are playing good football as well, so why not?”

England won all 10 games in qualifying for the tournament in France to finish nine points clear at the top of their group.

Manager Hodgson will name his 23-man squad on Monday after giving himself four extra days to assess his players’ fitness.

Eriksson bowed out as England boss after losing 3-1 on penalties to Portugal in the quarter-final of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

If England are to claim their first trophy since 1966 the 68-year-old insists they must learn to handle shootout situations.

“Without any doubt the pressure when you go to a big tournament is big – and many times, how I remember it, too big on the players,” said Eriksson.

“You talk about penalty shootouts – England is not famous for winning [them]. They feel the pressure.

“But hopefully Roy will do a good job and they will reach the semi-final or the final or win it.”

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Speaking to BBC Sport in China, where he now works as the head coach of Shanghai SIPG, Eriksson also stated England were the best team at the 2006 World Cup and should have won the tournament in Germany.

The penalty loss to Portugal came after the game went to extra time and ended 0-0.

England played with 10 men from the 62nd minute after Manchester United striker – and now England captain – Wayne Rooney’s sending off for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho.

“The last tournament I was in charge, in 2006 in Germany, we all thought that we could reach the semi-final or final. That we could win the tournament because I couldn’t see any team that was better than us.

“Italy won it. But I don’t think Italy played extremely good football.

“They won it and congratulations of course – but that was our big chance during my time. We should have done better in 2006.

“We had a good team, we were ready and we believed in ourselves.”

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