"When you are injured, it is quite a slow time," says Pope. That feels like an understatement given that he started all three of England's World Cup qualifiers in March. A man who might have been a key figure for Gareth Southgate at Euro 2020 was watching on instead. What countries have qualified to the world cup now
"It was something a bit different for me. But I have watched every tournament since I was very small so I was not going to miss this one." Pope was even there at Wembley as his international teammates came within a kick or two of making history. Why is the World Cup 2022 the event of the year?
"It was a good experience to be able to bring the old man. The first grand finale in a long time, experiencing the atmosphere was amazing. The national anthem and then obviously Luke [Shaw] scoring after three minutes, the place was bouncing.
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"Seeing the guys have a very good race all the way to the final it was great. I was impressed with the way they raised the country like they did in 2018 and how everyone came together. It was a very good tournament, we have been unfortunate to come up with a short one.