Mason Mount and Declan Rice have been best friends since their childhood and now they are both starting for England in the European Championship.
The Chelsea star and the West Ham United midfielder both came up through the Blues’ academy system, before Rice was released by the west London club at the age of 14.
The England defensive midfielder was deemed not good enough by the Chelsea coaches and was let go, and eventually moved to the Hammers.
The ironic thing is that the Blues have been heavily linked with a move for the 22-year-old midfielder in recent times.
Either way, the fact that Mount and Rice get to play alongside each other in the England midfield trio, with Kalvin Phillips as well, is quite a brilliant story, but Roy Keane does not see it this way.
Ian Wright issued his verdict prior to England’s clash with Scotland on ITV, saying: “I think you can’t underestimate the journey they’ve had to get here.”
However, the outspoken Keane interjected: “This is top level sport, I don’t know why you’re worried about friendships, this is top level sport.”
Before the Arsenal legend said: “It’s the story. They must have been dreaming about that, we’ve seen the pictures of them. Now they’re here in arguably the biggest game of their lives up to this point.
“They’re together as two mates, hopefully they can get it over the line.”
Mount has previously spoken about Rice’s departure from Chelsea around eight years ago and how it affected him.
“We had been together for a long time,” the Chelsea and England star said to the Guardian.
“My mum and his mum were on the phone crying together. I never saw it coming, but I know what mentality Dec has. And look at him now.”
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Rice also said: “It was really tough. Chelsea was all I knew and having to move to West Ham, I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“Being away from home, not seeing my mum and dad, there were so many different things that shaped me into the person I am now. I remember being in my bed, calling my mum and saying: ‘I don’t like it.’
“My mum called up the digs lady, seeing if I was all right. She only told me last year.”