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Steve McClaren.

The England XI the BBC predicted would win Euro 2008

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In recent years, England have made light work of qualifying for major tournaments.

The Three Lions won all 10 of their qualifying matches on their way to Euro 2016, while they’re on the brink of making the 2018 World Cup and are still undefeated from their eight matches so far.

But cast your mind back 10 years ago and England were facing a fight to qualify for Euro 2008 - a fight they eventually lost.

Two defeats to Croatia and a loss to Russia saw Steve McClaren’s side finish third in their group meaning they didn’t compete in the tournament hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

But in the years leading up to the tournament, hopes were high that England could have success.

In fact, hopes were so high that BBC Sport ran an article back in 2003 explaining ‘Why England will win Euro 2008.’

While the headline alone is bad enough, the team that a certain Dan Warren picks is laughable at best.

Ok, he may be predicting five years into the future but his judgment is pretty shocking.

BBC Sport's predicted England XI

Here is the XI and what he writes about each position:

Oh, and he predicted that Alan Shearer would be the manager…

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Goalkeeper | Chris Kirkland

"Chris Kirkland, 21 now, will be the world's finest goalkeeper by 2008, especially after another five years of shot-stopping practice at the back of Liverpool's attack-shy team.

"Leeds' Paul Robinson, 23, is unlikely to be far behind his Liverpool rival and the two of them are likely to vie, Shilton-Clemence style, for the number one jersey for many years."

England Training & Press Conference

Defenders



Centre-back | Martin Taylor

Centre-back | Anton Ferdinand

Centre-back | Rio Ferdinand

Right wing-back | Shaun Wright-Phillips

Left wing-back | Ashley Cole

"History has shown that every successful England international team has contained brothers, and Rio and Anton Ferdinand will form the bedrock of Shearer's defence.

"Rio will be the team's veteran at 29, but Anton will possess the same assured approach and, let us hope, the same "funky" goalscoring celebrations.

"Blackburn's Martin Taylor will be there to mop up when the siblings' rivalry causes them to lose concentration.

"Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips will be devastating wing-backs, whose surging runs will leave Italians crying into their capuccinos and Germans blubbing in their bratwursts."

Queens Park Rangers English defender Ant

Midfield

Midfield | Steven Gerrard

Midfield | Joe Cole

Midfield | David Dunn

"This is where England excel, with the maverick talents of Joe Cole and David Dunn backed by the steel and vision of Steven Gerrard.

"With Dunn (28 in 2008) and Cole (26 in 2008) possessing maturity and talent, all England need is for Gerrard (27) to end his current run of form which is, unfortunately, rubbish.

"All three will be at their peak, and the onlooking David Beckham, who will probably retire from football at 30 to pursue a rock career, will smile in the stands as his successors shine."

England v USA - International Friendly

Strikers

Striker | Michael Owen

Striker | Wayne Rooney

"England will have so much talent up front it will be embarrassing, and other teams may concede games before kick-off to avoid the humiliation on the pitch.

"The original odd couple will spearhead the attack - Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen.

"Off the field, the pair will fight like dogs, but on the field they will combine to create flowing football poetry which will reduce even the most toughened defenders to mere shells of men.

"And to keep them alert, the likes of Liverpool's Neil Mellor, Aston Villa's Darius Vassell, Leeds' James Milner and West Ham's Jermaine Defoe will all be in the prime of their careers."

England footballer Michael Owen plays ag

Subs

Paul Robinson
Wayne Bridge
John Terry
Michael Carrick
Neil Mellor
Jermaine Defoe
Michael Tonge

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