Euro 2016: England 'Most Exciting Side Since 1966 World Cup Heroes'

England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst.
Former England footballer Sir Geoff Hurst at Costa do Sauipe Resort, Brazil, December 5, 2013. The World Cup winner says England's current side is the most exciting since the 1966 vintage. Clive Mason/Getty

Sir Geoff Hurst, scorer of a hat-trick in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final, believes the England squad going to UEFA Euro 2016 is the most exciting since the last side to bring England glory.

England last tasted major international success 50 years ago, defeating Germany 4-2 after extra time at Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of almost 100,000.

And Hurst, the former West Ham United striker, says the youth in Roy Hodgson's team—the average age is 25—means England has a real shot at matching the victory of his cohort.

"It's the most exciting squad since '66—people like Dele Alli have come in and been very refreshing," Hurst told BBC Radio 5 live.

"He's played, even in the friendlies, like it's the World Cup final."

England plays Russia in its opening game of Euro 2016 in the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday. The squad arrived at its base in Chantilly on Monday, with the future of striker Jamie Vardy still up in the air.

Vardy has an offer from Arsenal, which has met his £20 million ($29.1 million) release clause, but he has yet to decide whether to leave Leicester City, the English Premier League champion from last season.