Declan Rice was thrilled to play his part in taking England a step closer towards next summer’s UEFA Euro 2020 finals on Saturday.
The West Ham.United midfielder won his fourth cap for the Three Lions, playing the 90 minutes at Wembley as England brushed Bulgaria aside by four goals to nil.
Despite the comfortable scoreline - achieved thanks to a Harry Kane hat-trick and a close range finish from Raheem Sterling - Rice said Gareth Southgate’s men had to work for their victory.
“It was tough,” Rice explained. “Even though we won 4-0, they were well-organised in the first half and made it really frustrating for us.
“But when you’ve got Harry Kane, who can take penalties like that, and Rashford and Sterling who make runs in behind, any team will find that difficult to cope with.
“In the end we’ve come out 4-0 winners and it was a good night’s work.”
Making the night even more special for Rice was the fact he shared the pitch for the final 23 minutes with Mason Mount - one of his best friends since childhood - as the Chelsea youngster was called upon for his England debut.
“We last played together when we were 13 or 14, so it’s really special,” Rice added. “We always said one day hopefully we’d get the chance turn out together and play.
“Luckily tonight we’ve done the best you can probably do in football, play for your country. “