The wait is nearly over. Just over 50 days remain until the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
As we watch the Premier League draw to its conclusion and pray our star players remain fit and healthy, it’s time to start dreaming.
Here, News Shopper brings you 10 reasons why England CAN and WILL win the World Cup.
10. Roy Hodgson
The scousers may not have liked him but the international footballing world cannot speak highly enough of good old Woy.
Following successful stints in Switzerland, Italy and Denmark there is no one better to suss out the opposition’s tactics and plot their downfall in eight weeks’ time.
9. No hopers
Never before have England been less hotly tipped to win a World Cup.
We are currently ninth favourites to lift the Jules Rimet trophy with the likes of Belgium attracting lower odds at the bookies.
The only time we have ever been less touted to win the trophy was in 1990 – and that proved to be one of our most successful ever tournaments (when Gazza and Lineker ran riot).
There is literally no pressure or expectation on England and that will work in our favour.
8. Wayne Rooney
Not only is he due a big tournament but he appears to have grown up.
Unlike Euro 2012 he is now immune from suspension for the tournament’s opening two fixtures and has shown a maturity on and off the pitch in his 11th year as an England international.
With a month-long winter break due to injury, Rooney should be firing on all cylinders in Rio.
7. Jose says we can
The Special One knows a thing or two about winning, so when he says it’s possible, it must be true.
Speaking last month Jose Mourinho said: “England, everybody says: ‘No, no, no, no, no’ – I always say: ‘Why not?’
“When I see the players and the experience of the players and the clubs where they play, I don’t understand why one day it cannot happen.
“Players from Chelsea, from Liverpool, Man United, Arsenal, a few from Everton also – all of them, they know how to play under pressure, how to play for the big clubs.”
6. Deadly diseases
England’s base camp will be buried deep inside the Amazon jungle where malaria is rife.
Arsenal stole a place in the Champions League in 2006 when the Spurs team came down with a mysterious illness.
Maybe the same fate could await England’s rivals.
5. Ross Barkley
The new Michael Owen!
Did anyone see his wonder goal against Newcastle last month?
The Everton midfielder is in scintillating form and enters the tournament as an international unknown with zero weight on his shoulders.
He could be England’s secret weapon.
4. England’s astute tactical nous
While our rivals will be testing out various intricate and pretentiously fluid 3-1-2-1-3 formations, England will stick to a solid “two banks of four”.
And while the likes of Brazil, Holland and Spain are running themselves into the ground in the searing Amazonian heat, England will be safely camped in their own penalty area, rooted to the spot and saving valuable energy for the knock-out stages.
It's a winning formula.
3. England do well in the heat
Time and time again the same old pundits trot out the same old rubbish about how England struggle to cope in the heat, but there is almost no evidence to support this.
Our boys played beautifully in Mexico 86 and would have almost certainly lifted the trophy if it wasn’t for that cheating Argentinian.
The searing heat of Italia 90 saw yet another fantastic performance from the English and we even mustered a 2-2- Draw with Brazil in Rio last year.
All of those chavvy holidays to the Costa Del Sol are finally starting to pay off.
2. We’re good at penalties
Now this really is undisputed.
Leighton Baines has missed only one penalty in his last 16 and many of those have been high-pressure last-minute winners.
Stephen Gerrard isn’t far behind, converting 27 of his last 30 while his confidence is currently sky high.
However, they both pale into insignificance when compared to the mighty Rickie Lambert who has scored his last 34 pens.
He has never missed a penalty for Southampton!
1. We’ve got James Milner
“He puts a shift in”
“He covers a lot of ground”
“He’ll always give you 110 per cent”
“He’s a safe pair of hands”
“He’s a low risk choice”
“He’s a workhorse”
He also won Premier League player of the month in November 2011 (Not a lot of people know that).