FORMER Wanswell Wanderers youth footballer Christian Ribeiro is dreaming of coming face to face with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard in the European Championship qualification campaign.

The Wales under-21 international was called up to the senior squad for the first time last September ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Russia and now has his sights set on winning his first cap.

And Ribeiro would relish the opportunity of coming up against England after they were drawn in the same group as Wales for the qualification campaign to reach Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

“If I got to experience it that would be fantastic,” said the 20-year-old Bristol City defender, who is currently on loan at Colchester United.

“I’ve played against them at under-21 level.

“Just getting in the squad at the right time before a game like that would be wonderful, but if I miss it this time maybe another time.

“It would be a shock to the system but lovely to get used to something like that.

“They’re world class players so it would be fantastic to play against them but lots of the Wales players do on a regular basis and they won’t be shell shocked.”

England beat Wales twice en route to qualifying for the 2006 World Cup and would be overwhelming favourites to do the same again, but Ribeiro believes anything is possible in the highly anticipated clashes.

“The England game is a massive one, everyone is looking forward to it and I’m sure Wales will do well,” he said.

“These games bring the best out of players so it could be a shock.

“All the pressure is on England and Wales have got players who can punish them.”

Wales will also come up against Bulgaria, Switzerland and Montenegro and with the top team qualifying automatically and the second team going into the play-offs, Ribeiro feels they have an outside chance.

“It is interesting because it’s such a close group,” he said.

“England should top the group but the other sides are capable of beating each other so we could struggle to win a game or get second place.

“It’s a tough group but it’s easier to have teams around the same level rather than two really big sides so it’s a good group for Wales.”

After making an impressive debut against Gillingham, Ribeiro’s loan spell at Colchester has been hampered by a groin strain that he suffered in his first home game against MK Dons.

His spell at the League One promotion-hopefuls expires after the weekend but he expects to return there once he recovers from injury.