England are 13/2 in bwin’s 2022 World Cup winner odds after coming agonisingly close to ending their major trophy drought at the European Championship.
The Three Lions broke new ground under Gareth Southgate at Euro 2020, reaching their first major final for 55 years.
But football did not return home as Italy claimed a dramatic 3-2 win in a penalty shootout following a tense 1-1 draw.
Despite the loss, the run to the Wembley showpiece represented more progress for England after reaching the semi-finals of the last World Cup and the Nations League.
Unlike some other teams, Southgate is set to have the same group of players available in Qatar in 18 months time.
He said: “I want to take the team to Qatar, I feel we have made progress over the four years, we have had a fourth, a third and a second-placed finish and that is as good as anyone.”
The likes of youngsters Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Jadon Sancho will still not be at the peak of their careers, meaning England are rated third favourites behind world champions France and Brazil to lift the trophy they won in 1966.
Southgate added: “They will want more, they know they can get close. They will have belief. It doesn’t guarantee you anything, you have to start again and earn the right.”
Les Bleus favourites for back-to-back triumphs
France are the 5/1 favourites to retain their crown, having beaten Croatia 4-2 in the final three years ago, but suffered a shock last-16 defeat at the Euros.
Les Bleus were knocked out by Switzerland on penalties after an inconsistent tournament that saw them win only one match.
Brazil will be hungry for another major title after losing to Argentina in the Copa America final.
The Samba Boys, beaten 1-0 by their rivals at the weekend, have not won a World Cup for 19 years and are 11/2 to end that barren spell.
Italy looked like the standout team at the Euros right from the opening night, when they swept aside Turkey 3-0 in Rome, and went on to win their first title since 1968 by edging out England.
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