Qatar World Cup: 'The England XI that will win it all' was predicted in 2013

The draw for the 2022 World Cup finals takes place on April 1.

Regardless of who England are drawn to face in their group, they will go into the tournament as one of the favourites.

The Three Lions reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 before suffering a heartbreaking defeat in the Euro 2020 final.

They will be looking to go one better in Qatar and they have the squad needed to win it all.

Back in 2013, Simon Rice of the Independent made the bold prediction that England will emerge victorious in Qatar.


Rice then predicted the 11 players that will lead England to glory in the tournament.

Nine years have passed since Rice’s prediction and, with the World Cup occurring later this year, we’ve decided to revisit the XI he picked. It hasn’t aged well at all…

DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 21: The FIFA World Cup trophy is pictured on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit on November 21, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

GK: Jack Butland

In 2013, a 20-year-old Butland had just made the Β£3.5 million move from Birmingham to Stoke City.

He initially showed promise with the Potters but failed to kick on. He’s now Crystal Palace’s back-up goalkeeper and has just nine England caps to his name.

LB: Luke Shaw

This is the best prediction of the lot. Despite a poor 2021/22 campaign, Shaw is almost guaranteed to be on the plane and will be fighting over the left-back spot with Ben Chilwell.

CB: Nathaniel Chalobah

Chalobah now plays for Fulham in the Championship. He’s a one-cap-wonder, having played his only game for England against Spain in 2018.

His younger brother, Trevoh, has a much greater chance of making England’s World Cup squad.

CB: Phil Jones

Jones is still at Manchester United but very rarely plays. A series of injuries means he’s only played 10 games for the club in the last three seasons.

He has 27 England caps to his name – the most recent of which came in 2018.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 27: Phil Jones of England runs with the ball during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between England and Lithuania at Wembley Stadium on March 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

RB: Chris Smalling

There’s so much competition for the right-back berth, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker and Reece James all top-class players. Smalling is playing at a high level for Roma but will definitely not be starting for England at right-back later this year.

LM: Wilfried Zaha

Zaha is a very talented player but he changed allegiances to Ivory Coast in 2017. He made two appearances for England between 2012-2013.

CM: Ross Barkley

Barkley has played a grand total of 150 minutes for Chelsea in the Premier League this season. Barring a miraculous turn of events, he won’t be on the plane to Qatar.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Ross Barkley of England in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E qualifying match between England and Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on September 8, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

CM:Jack Wilshere

“There’s no doubt Jack Wilshere will be leading the team.” That’s what was written about Wilshere in 2013.

His last England appearance came in 2016. He now plays for Danish side, AGF.

RM: Jordon Ibe

In 2013, Ibe was trying to make a name for himself at Liverpool. But he never reached his potential and now plays in the Turkish second tier with Adanaspor.

BURTON UPON TRENT, ENGLAND – MAY 26:Jordan Ibe of England during the UEFA U19 Championship Elite Qualifying Round Group One match between England U19 and Scotland U19 at the Pirelli Stadium on May 26, 2014 in Burton upon Trent, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

ST: Chuba Akpom

Akpom was a very brave shout because, back in 2013, he had never even made an appearance for Arsenal.

Now 26, he currently turns out for Greek outfit PAOK and has never played for England.

ST: Daniel Sturridge

In fairness, Sturridge was a very, very good striker but injuries have plagued his career.

He now plays for Australian side, Perth Glory, where his injury woes have continued.

Manager: Gary Neville

Neville vowed to never manage again after a disastrous spell with Valencia in the 2015/16 season. That stint lasted just four months and 28 games.

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