But the former England defender played down the news ahead of his team's round of 16 match against Colombia on Tuesday, insisting: "I'm no David Beckham". Recent England teams have looked weighed down with pressure at major tournaments - the most painful and obvious example being in the 2-1 loss to Iceland in the last 16 of the European Championship in 2016 - but not this edition.
The most notable absentee from Gareth Southgate's second-string selection, the tournament's leading scorer, had presented himself for interview post-match looking fresh.
England have been practising penalties since March.
"I think they are relishing that chance, the energy in training today was really good. we are viewing the game as one against an opponent we really respect. He got it right most of the time last season but we need a bit extra to push for the title".
I've always said we've had a chance but at the moment I can't see past Brazil.
England in easier half of World Cup knockout draw
I would keep him in the side - that would be tough on Ashley Young but you need that left-footed player in the team". Did they want to lose? Didn't they? They certainly celebrated as though they did.
Southgate, who missed from the spot at Euro 96, said: "We have been through the various drills and prepared for if we get to that point".
'Ten months ago we qualified for the World Cup by beating Slovenia and people were throwing paper airplanes onto the pitch at Wembley.
England's players even had psychometric tests before the tournament to help the process.
But on Monday he was still in England, reducing his chances of returning in time for the game.
"The English are a country with a lot of history, they are very structured, they have players with important offensive power and they have shown in this competition, tactically, a very well worked team".
"It's a youthful squad but we've still got those experienced players in there". I'm 20 and if I had to take a penalty for England at a World Cup, I do not think it's an exaggeration to suggest that my skull would quite literally explode out of my head as my bowels disintegrate into dust. "We are excited and enjoying the World Cup", he said. "I can't speak highly enough of his character around the group", he said.