Barkley's Wembley Ambitions
Teenager hoping for more action at the national stadium.
Ross Barkley would savour another opportunity to play at Wembley Stadium – a venue he dreamed of gracing as a child.
The midfielder fulfilled that ambition when he stepped off the bench in England’s World Cup qualifier with Moldova back in September to make his senior international debut.
Barkley, who very nearly marked that occasion with what would have been a fairytale goal, could earn another cap – possibly even a first start – in the Three Lions’ friendly with Chile on Friday evening.
England also face Germany at the national stadium on Tuesday.
Barkley, 19, said: “It was a good experience, making my debut, there is no better honour. I had a chance, too, but it went an inch past the post, which would have been good if I’d have scored that.
“It was my first game at Wembley, I’d been there for the semi-final of the FA Cup and went to watch England against Spain, when Frank Lampard scored, and also went as a fan to watch Everton in the FA Cup final.
“Playing for England at Wembley is something you think about as a kid. I’d emulate those Gerrard and Rooney moments, that’s what we used to do when we were kids.”
Like England, opponents Chile have also qualified for the 2014 World Cup.
They finished third in the CONMEBOL qualifying section and are currently placed 12th in the FIFA rankings, two places below Roy Hodgson’s side.
Barkley believes the friendly is perfect preparation for next summer’s tournament.
The midfielder continued: “You don’t know what opponents you’ll come up against until the draw, but there’s a good possibility we could get a South American team, so it will be good for England to play against Chile.
“They are a different type of team than we’re used to, and it will be a good experience.”
Meanwhile, Barkley's Everton colleague John Stones played 90 minutes for England Under-21s in their 3-0 Euro 2015 qualifying win over Finland at Stadium:MK on Thursday evening.
Elsewhere yesterday, another young Blue, Chris Long, came off the bench for England Under-19s on 63 minutes in their 4-1 win over Hungary in the Euro 2014 qualifiers.