We all come down with a bout of patriotic fervour, displaying flags from our windows or our cars, getting excited when we hear the competition’s theme tune for the first time, and believing the years of hurt are about to come to an end. And then we kick off.
But Brazilian legend Ronaldo believes England have two reasons in particular to be cheerful – and they are Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney.
The Liverpool and Manchester United players have been singled out by the former Real Madrid striker in an interview he gave to rwdfootball.com that was later published by Sambafoot.
“I believe there are players here that are already at that high level,” he said, “players like Steven (Gerrard) at Liverpool and (Wayne) Rooney from Manchester United. They are part of that league of high-class players.”
Both men will no doubt be proud having been singled out by one of the greatest goal-scorers of his generation. But it is now down to those same men to prove they can compete, inspire and win on the biggest stage of all.
Otherwise those flags we get so excited about displaying will soon be rippling reminders of yet more disappointment.