Cole: England have a great chance of winning the World Cup
Joe Cole believes England have a "great chance" of winning the World Cup in Brazil.
The former England midfielder believes Roy Hodgson’s squad, with its exciting cluster of promising young players, can make a big impression this summer.
Cole, who this week signed for Aston Villa, featured in England’s squads at the last three World Cups and sees huge potential in the current crop.
The 32-year-old said: "It’s going to be exciting and I think we have got a great chance of doing it.
"I agree with what Wayne Rooney has said – it’s the best squad England have had in years.
"The reason for the lower expectation is that these young players in the squad are at the start of their careers.
"They’re not pivotal players in the big squads in the country – but they will be.
"They’ve got a great chance and it’s perhaps their best chance as well because in four years’ time they’ll all be established and there’ll be a massive load of expectation on them.
"For me, looking from the outside, all the stars seem to be aligning. I think they’ll do well."
Southampton’s Adam Lallana looks set to play a prominent role for England and Cole expects him to make an impact.
He said: "He’s very similar in style of play to me. I really like him.
"I always had a keen eye on him watching him come up through the leagues. He looks at home in international football and I hope he plays."
Cole is set to prolong his career in the top flight after agreeing a two-year deal with Villa following his release by West Ham at the end of last season.
With his immediate future now settled, Cole is looking forward to watching the World Cup before getting ready for pre-season training with his new club.
He said: "I’m very excited. It’s the first time I’ve watched since ’98 when I was a 16-year-old lad, with my mum and dad.
"I personally think Argentina are going to win it, I think they are the best-balanced team.
"But I think there are a couple of outside teams that could get to the quarter-finals at least – Chile and Switzerland – and you can’t discount Spain either, depending on the fitness of (Diego) Costa."
Cole had the opportunity to move abroad again this summer but was impressed by the ambitions of Villa and their manager Paul Lambert in the Premier League.
He said: "I had offers from all over the world, some weird and wonderful places. Football is such a global sport.
"But the chance to stay in England and go to a massive club like Villa was too good to turn down.
"As soon as I spoke to the gaffer, everything else was irrelevant really. That was it. I just wanted to play for Villa.
"Financially I could have gone and earned a fortune playing in other countries but it has never been about the money.
"My heart and motivation was always to play at this top level and in this great league."