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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Lampard: England can beat anyone

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Frank Lampard was bullish after England's 2-1 victory over Brazil, but teammate Wayne Rooney cautioned his teammates not to get too carried away.

Both Lampard and Rooney scored goals Wednesday to help the Three Lions secure their first victory over the Selecao in almost a quarter of a century.

Lampard said Thursday that England's win proves they are capable of beating anyone in the world. England have now beaten Brazil and Spain, who have won six World Cups between them, over the past 15 months.

"We have got the confidence to beat any team in world football on our day. We have done it against Spain and now Brazil," the Chelsea midfielder said.

He acknowledged the victories are undermined slightly by the fact that both came in friendly matches, but he insists morale is now so high that the Three Lions are confident of beating anyone who crosses their path.

Rooney, however, is well aware that there have been plenty of false dawns with England before and insisted that victories over San Marino and Montenegro next month is far more important.

"It's a great result but at the end of the day it's only a friendly. It's not a competitive game," Rooney said. "Now it's all about trying to progress as a team. The next step for us is to try to qualify for the World Cup."

England's hopes were raised in November 2011 when it beat world and European champions Spain at Wembley, but Roy Hodgson's team could only watch on in envy as Vicente del Bosque's side coasted to glory in Poland and Ukraine the following summer while England were knocked out by Italy on penalties.

For that reason Rooney insists England must keep their feet on the ground and instead concentrate their efforts on following up yesterday's win with two qualifying victories against the far inferior opposition of San Marino and Montenegro next month.

Rooney scored England's first goal and set up Lampard for his winner. Lampard picked up Rooney's pass in the second half and curled a peach of a finish past Julio Cesar via the inside of a post to seal the win.

Lampard, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is now just six caps short of becoming England's eighth centurion, and he has no plans to quit the international scene any time soon.

"I won't retire whatever happens," said Lampard, who made his England debut in 1999 against Belgium.

"I am pleased that (Hodgson has faith in me). You don't know if everything is going to be the same after an injury," he said. "You know it won't go on forever. Every time I am in or around the squad I give my all, whether it's starting or on the bench. I have a lot of respect for the manager. I think he respects that I want to help in any way I possibly can and if I can keep going then brilliant."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.




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