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Declan Rice interview: Why England have ‘no excuses’ not to win the Euros this year

Two years after joining West Ham at youth level aged 14, Rice signed his first professional contract with the club. He won the Premier League Cup in 2016 with the under-21s. His rise hasn’t been easy. “You have to make a lot of sacrifices,” he says, to play professionally at such a young age. In his case, though, it has more than paid off. Today he is part of a rarefied group of English footballers who are as celebrated off the pitch as they are on it. It means a responsibility “to speak out on matters,” Rice says, “and to make [football] a safe sport for everyone.”

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