England can do magical things – Rooney

England players celebrate

Wayne Rooney believes England are capable of “magical things” after reaching the last 16 of Euro 2016.

Roy Hodgson’s side face Iceland in Nice on Monday (20:00 BST) after finishing runners-up in Group B behind Wales.

That puts them in the same half of the draw as Germany, Spain, Italy and hosts France, but Rooney feels the team can challenge for the title.

“We have five or six match-winners in our team and I cannot say we have always had that,” said the captain.

“We are here and we want to win it. We are not going to say that getting to the quarter-finals will be a sign of progress. I believe we are better than that.”

Less pressure on Rooney’s shoulders

Wayne Rooney<!–

Euro 2016 is 30-year-old Rooney’s sixth major tournament, but in that time the side have won just one knockout game – against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup.

Manchester United captain Rooney – England’s all-time leading scorer with 52 goals – has found the net five times in three European Championships.

“Other tournaments have not gone great for me,” he said. “I have always held a lot of pressure, feeling I have to be the one who has to win games.

“But we now have a lot of players who can do that and I am happy to sit in the background. If I have to be the person to step up and win us games, I will do that.”

Gap to other teams is smaller

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Rooney was one of six players dropped for the final group game against Slovakia, which ended 0-0 despite Hodgson’s side having 29 shots and 61% possession.

Coming second in the group left England in the bottom half of the knockout draw, which features holders Spain, 2012 finalists Italy, world champions Germany and hosts France.

However, they face the lowest-ranked side Iceland in the last 16.

“If this was four years ago and you were saying you have to play France, Spain, Germany, you would have been worried,” said Rooney.

“I think the gap has changed, and not just with ourselves to then teams but with the likes of Wales. Belgium have become a really good team.

“Italy are doing well, as they always do at tournaments. The gap to get to those teams is not as big.”

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