Former Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand has made bold claims that the Three Lions will go all the way at the ongoing FIFA World Cup to lift the trophy on December 18. While its not only Ferdinand who feels so, but there are many who have backed the Harry Kane-led team to finally ‘bring it home’, after they were close to doing so in 2018. Moreover, England are one of the only teams at the tournament who are yet to taste a defeat in their four outings. And their dominating Round of 16 win over Senegal only cements the hopes of those who ae supporting England to win it all.
However, they face defending champions France in the quarterfinal next, who despite their shock defeat against Tunisia in the group stage are firing on all cylinders. Their talisman forward Kylian Mbappe is fresh from scoring a brace against Poland in the Round of 16, and is currently leading the goalscoring charts with 5 in 4 games. But Ferdinand believes this English side is fearless of the French offense, and that there’s only one team at the moment who can stop them from realising their dream of winning the World Cup.
Ferdinand reveals the one team England should be wary of
England are so far the highest scorers at the tournament, having netted a whopping 12 goals in 4 games. Their 6-2 thrashing in the opening game against Iran would have sent a warning to all the other pre-tournament favourites. And four games later, its France who stand between them and a semifinals ticket. France too have been free-scoring at the tournament, with 9 goals in 4 games, and their forwards Mbappe and Giround in full throttle.
Although both France and England will fancy their chances against each other, one might blindly pick the Les Blues as favourites to emerge out as victorious given the x-factor of Mbappe. However, Ferdinand feels otherwise, as he sees a ‘weakened’ France team who are without some of their key-players such as Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Christoph Nkunku and Lucas Hernandez. The former centre-back said on his FIVE YouTube channel:
“I watched France play [Poland] before the England game and I had them down as one of my favourites. But they’ve got five first-team players missing so it’s a weakened France team. Having watched that game, I hold zero amounts of fear for France. The only fear is Kylian Mbappe. They didn’t show me anything yesterday, they rely on individuals. If England can contain Mbappe, I don’t see it being a problem against France. England are the better team, 100%.”
He further named the one team which can cause England an upset, as he continued:
“I think England are going to win the World Cup. The only team I think can go toe to toe with England is Brazil. They’ve got the personality and the characters to do that. They’ve got hardened European players. I see weaknesses all over the place in the other teams and I think England can physically dominate the other teams. For me, Kyle Walker is the only defender on the planet right now that will stand there and go to Mbappe: ‘Right, 1-v-1, let’s have a race’. He will back himself too. We saw it in the Euros. He’s got the confidence to do that and he’s the only one capable of doing that I think.”
While at this point, anything can happen in this tie given the massive upsets the tournament has witnessed. England will certainly back themselves to topple the current World Cup holders, and snatch their title as well. On the other hand, Brazil, who Ferdinand feels possess a threat to the Three Lions’ challenge face South Korea in their Round of 16 clash. There are still doubts over their star man Neymar’s participation in the remainder of the World Cup after he was ruled out of the group stages due to an ankle injury in the opener against Serbia.