Declan Rice: Scoring for England is an indescribable feeling
Declan Rice struggled to put the feeling of scoring his first goal for his country into words after netting in England's 4-0 victory over Iceland on Tuesday night.
The West Ham United midfielder opened the scoring in the final match of the Three Lions' UEFA Nations League campaign, rising to glance a header home from Phil Foden's free-kick on 20 minutes.
Foden himself went on to register a brace, while England's other goal was scored by Rice's friend since childhood, Mason Mount.
It topped off a perfect night for the 21-year-old, who was beaming with pride at the final whistle.
"You can’t put the feeling into words really," he explained. It’s 13 games I’ve had and it’s something I need to keep doing. I need to keep adding goals to my game.
"I really can’t describe it to be honest with you, I think my WhatsApp is going to be buzzing off!
"When I scored I looked around at the linesman because I thought I had timed the run right, but you never know now
"It came off my head and then onto my shoulder, but when you see it hit the back of the net, that feeling…I wish there were fans here to witness it. It was special, really really special."
Having grown up alongside his fellow midfielder Mount, Rice was understandably thrilled to see both of them on the scoresheet.
"That's special because we’ve been best mates since we’ve been eight years old," he continued. "We’ve seen each other’s journeys, we’ve seen each other grow.
"Tonight, before the game, when we knew we were playing in midfield together, that in itself was a special moment to start alongside each other, and then to score in the same game as well was incredible. I know my family and his family were probably bursting with pride at home."
England's attentions will now turn to next summer's European Championships, while for Rice his immediate focus returns to the Hammers and ensuring their encouraging start to the campaign continues into the winter.
"The Euros is obviously the next step," he added. "There are World Cup qualifiers in March and hopefully we now have a good four months with our clubs where we can kick on, progress together and then hopefully get picked for the squad in March, and then the big one in the summer.
"The whole nation is waiting, us as players, we all missed out this summer so we’re really excited about that."