Declan Rice: England substitution in Euro 2020 final was gutting

Mitch Wilks
Declan Rice warming up for England before a Nations League game
Declan Rice warming up for England before a Nations League game / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Declan Rice admits that he was gutted to be substituted by Gareth Southgate during England's Euro clash with Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

The now 23-year-old started every one of the Three Lions' games at the delayed tournament, playing a key role in holding things together in midfield alongside Kalvin Phillips.

Rice and Phillips struck up a dynamic partnership to help England surge past Germany, Ukraine and Denmark in the knockout stages, having already helped Southgate's side keep three clean sheets in Group D.

England ultimately came up short in the final, devastatingly losing on penalties to Italy after a 1-1 draw at Wembley, with Rice withdrawn by Southgate with just over 15 minutes to go of normal time.

Joe Cole
Declan Rice was speaking to West Ham icon Joe Cole / BT Sport

The Joe Cole Cast is part of a new series of free podcasts and audio documentaries from BT Sport Pods. Episode 10 with Declan Rice is available from Saturday 29th October. For more info visit: btsport.com/pods

Speaking on BT Sport's Joe Cole Cast, Rice admits that he was disappointed to be taken off, but left the pitch confident that England were well placed to win the game and that he'd performed to a good level.

"Maybe he [Southgate] thought that, you know, I looked tired maybe with all the running we was doing. It's a decision at the end of the day," Rice said.

"As a player I played in every game, I've come off that pitch at 1-1, I had my head held high all confident we were gonna go on to win. If we go on to win it, the question's not even asked. So it's a decision at the end of the day.

"I was gutted when I came off, but I was happy with the way I played."

Declan Rice
Declan Rice was crestfallen after England's defeat to Italy / Carl Recine - Pool/GettyImages

Rice used his performances as motivation to push on at club level, helping West Ham United secure European qualification for a second consecutive season.

"In terms of driving with the ball, running past the Italian players, I took that into next season, the season after with West Ham I just pushed that on as well," Rice said of his displays.

"That final gave me the confidence for the season after 100%. I remember that first half I just I just felt in my mind 'I'm gonna go out there and have it. This is the final, what have you got to lose?' And I was probably doing things with a football that I've never done."