England's Kyle Walker urges Three Lions to kick-off Nations League campaign in style

England defender Kyle Walker admits he's ready to get back in action with the Three Lions again after this summer's World Cup adventure. And with a Wembley return against a top nation in Spain on Saturday evening, the Manchester City man is ready to sample the UEFA Nations League.

Friday 07 Sep 2018
England's Kyle Walker in training at St. George's Park ahead of the game with Spain

We’re back together again now for the new season and a return to Wembley, so you must be looking forward to playing in front of the fans at home again?

Yeah, this is the first time we’ve been back since the World Cup. We’ve heard it’s going to be a sell-out and that’s what we want. England don’t play too often in the season so whenever we can get back to our home stadium and put on a display for the fans, it's great. We want to play good football for them, because we’re entertainers at the end of the day.

England v Spain
  • UEFA Nations League
  • 7.45pm, Saturday 8 September
  • Wembley Stadium connected by EE
  • Live on Sky Sports

Spain are first up and they will offer strong opposition for us too. What’s your thoughts on them?

Spain have got a good pedigree and they’ve proved it over a number of years now with the players that they’ve brought through and those who have come onto the scene. A few of the players have retired now, and I play at City with a special one of those in David Silva, but they’re not short on numbers after that. They’re going to be a tough opposition for us, but I also feel they need to be wary of us. That’s something which we as a team need to do, beat the top-ranked nations in the world because we haven’t really overcome that hurdle yet. We need to start ticking those boxes.

Playing Spain is a special one for you too. You made your senior debut as a sub against them and also had one of your best games as a young player with the U21s against them in the Euro Finals, which saw you attract a lot of attention in Spain and at home.

I remember playing against them for the U21s and I had a good game there. You get a lot of scouts at those tournaments, as everyone is looking at the next generation and I got a lot of plaudits at the time. And then I made my first senior appearance against them when I was 20, when Fabio Capello put me on some eight years ago and it brings back a lot of good memories for me. We actually beat Spain in that first game too, but then the last time we played them at Wembley we couldn’t beat them. They will not be a walkover, this is a top nation and we need to be wary of them.

Kyle Walker has enjoyed getting back together with his England squad mates at St. George's Park this week

It’s our first game in the UEFA Nations League. Are you looking forward to this new competition?

Yes. I feel that it will give us something to play for, we can go out and achieve something and hopefully win something for the nation, which we haven’t done since 1966. It’s a good competition to be involved in, there are some fantastic teams involved and we need to rise to the occasion and show that it wasn’t a one-off at the World Cup. We want to show that we are up there with the best and want to be considered as one of the top ten nations in the world.

You can read the full interview with Kyle in the match programme for the Spain game, which also features an England Supporters' Club Q&A with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate an interviews with new Spain coach Luis Enrique, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen on their adventures playing in Spain, an eight-page kids' pull-out and much more. 

Pick up at copy at Wembley on Saturday or order one online.

By FA Staff