Wayne Rooney conceded England have been dealt a 'tough' draw for the World Cup in Brazil, but is feeling optimistic about the chances of Roy Hodgson's side at the tournament next summer.
England begin their campaign against Italy after being drawn into group D, a tough opener indeed, before facing Luis Suarez inspired Uruguay and a relatively more straightforward task in Costa Rica.
It may be a more testing draw than England would have hoped for, but Rooney knows that if they are to prove successful in the competition, the Three Lions will have to overcome the world's best oppositions.
Rooney posted on his official Facebook page: "If we want to be the best, we have to beat the best. Tough group but really looking forward to it! Roll on Brazil 2014!"
England's encounter with Italy will take place in the tropical conditions of Manaus, and will provide a stern examination of the respective physical conditions of both sets of players.
Following their date with the Italians, which will be a 02:00 kick-off UK time on June 15, England face Uruguay four days later in Sao Paulo at a far more reasonable time of 20:00 GMT.
Belo Horizonte is the final destination for England in the group stage, with Costa Rica their opponents at 17:00 on June 24.
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