Declan Rice has long been touted as a future England captain – but still gets advice from his Dad before every match!
Sean Rice once wanted his son to play for Ireland, but now send hims tips by text to help out the Three Lions.
West Ham star Rice, 22, has worn the armband a for most of a stellar season with his club and sees himself as leadership material when it comes to England too.
But the midfielder has revealed how his agent father still gives him instructions before every match he plays for club and country.
Rice, who is set to start his sixth England game out of eight tonight, said: “It’s just something my Dad has always been on to me about as a kid.
“To this day I will still get a text from my Dad before the game, a long paragraph: ‘Start well. Talk. Always be loud!’ and other little pointers. That’s still to this day.
“That has always been ingrained in me since I was in the Academy as a kid, at Chelsea, at West Ham, just: ‘Be loud and always help out the team’.”
Rice is becoming a key man for Gareth Southgate ahead of this summer’s Euros – and reckons the amount of leaders in the squad could give them an edge.
He said: “England have so many leaders who are captains of their clubs. That’s very important, especially going into a tournament. We have so much experience."
Rice also reckons England have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking talent these days – and claims they always want to put on a show.
He said: “You want to entertain. The fans don’t want to watch a boring game. They want to see the flair players.
“Some of the players here, even though I’m a West Ham player, I’m always watching their games.
“People like Phil Foden. He’s one, at the moment, who is amazing to watch.
"The goal the other night that Manchester City scored against Gladbach, where he took it on the back foot, dribbled and slipped it to Ilkay Gundogan was just a breath of fresh air to watch a player do that.
"The way he ran through, it was just so silky. He is an incredible player.
"When you are training with these players, you kind of take a step back.
“You look at the attacking players we have got and you are kind of gobsmacked by the talent they have got.”
With Poland being the last game England play before Southgate names his squad for the Euros, Rice admits it's a “last chance” to impress.
He said: “No disrespect to San Marino and Albania but it will be a real step up and closer to opposition we will be facing in the Euros.
“It's a real chance to go and make a statement. I haven’t booked any holidays this summer but we have got such a strong squad and such strong competition.”
Whatever he says, Rice looks certain to start for England at the Euros – and is determined to help this young and exciting group go all the way.
He said: “There has always been that talk of the Golden Generation failing but we don’t look too much into that.
“We have the quality to beat any team in the world. Now, it’s about going out onto the international stage and putting it into a trophy.”
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