David Beckham is trying to boost England’s confidence in the buildup to the World Cup by praising the squad’s younger players.
England boss Roy Hodgson has picked Raheem Sterling, 19, and Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both 20, as well as Jack Wilshere, 22.
Beckham believes that from their Premier League experience playing alongside and against some of the world’s best, they will not be intimidated in Brazil.
England starts their Group D World Cup campaign against Italy on Saturday, then faces Uruguay on June 19 before playing Costa Rica on June 24.
“People have said they’re worried about young kids going into a massive tournament, but there’s no reason to be worried,” said Beckham, a former England captain.
“They’re all playing in the best league in the world – the toughest league.”
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder believes there is the right blend of youth and experience.
Steven Gerrard skippers and Frank Lampard is vice-captain and their vast experience in midfield will have a calming influence.
Sterling is going into Brazil 2014 following an impressive season for Liverpool, but his temperament is in question after being sent off in England’s warm-up game against Ecuador for a reckless tackle on Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia last week. Sterling had only just come on as a substitute.
Despite Beckham’s upbeat tone, England failed to impress in their final warm-up match on Saturday, a disappointing 0-0 result against Honduras, who finished with 10 men.
Everton midfielder Barkley started that game along with Arsenal midfielder Wilshere and winger Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain caught the eye at times, although the Gunner suffered a knee injury which may prevent him from playing in group games.