Harry Kane says England must use the pain of previous tournament disappointments to drive them on at Euro 2016.
The Three Lions have struggled on the international stage in recent years and have not progressed beyond the quarter-finals since Euro 1996, when they were eliminated on penalties by Germany at Wembley.
Kane remembers witnessing England’s disappointment at the 2002 World Cup at school, and insists that he and his team-mates must put up a strong showing in France to erase the torment of repeatedly falling short.
“I remember that well,” he told the Daily Mirror when asked about the defeat to Brazil 14 years ago. “We had a great team back then too. But Brazil beat us. It was devastating.
“For me it’s motivation to go on and do great things. We all know how much it would mean to the country to go all the way in this competition.
“So, it is all about using those kind of memories, and that heartache, to play in a positive manner.
“We’ve put that behind us and we’ve got a different squad to what we had then.
“It’s all about going out to France to express ourselves and put in a good performance.”
Kane believes that Roy Hodgson’s men – who flew to their Chantilly base on Monday – must get off to a winning start if they are to succeed in the tournament, and insists that they will approach each game with no fear.
“We have shown we are capable of beating anyone,” he added.
“The first game will be important. We need a win to get off to a good start. Then, if we are going to win the tournament, we’ll have to come up against some of the big boys.
“It doesn’t matter who we get in the next rounds. We’ll back ourselves to do well.”