‘As good as anyone’ - Bristol City’s Andy King on England’s World Cup chances and top performers so far
The Welshman is confident that the Three Lions can enjoy World Cup glory
Gareth Southgate’s side topped their group and recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory over Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday.
The Three Lions are into the quarterfinals and will play current world champions France in Al Khor on Saturday night, a win would set up a semi-final against Portugal or Morocco.
Brazil are favourites to win the tournament, however, when King was asked whether he thinks England can go all the way, he replied: “Yes I actually do, I think they’re as good as anyone from what I’ve seen.”
The Three Lions were knocked out at the semi-final stage in the 2018 World Cup and were heartbreakingly defeated on penalties in their UEFA Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley Stadium.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has been England’s star man so far, while Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappe is the top scorer in the competition with five goals.
King had his say on the top performers so far: “In terms of standout, the obvious one’s Mbappe isn’t he, he looks like he’s the next one to fill the (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo hole.
“I really like Rafael Leao, who plays for Portugal, a winger, I watched him against Chelsea in the Champions League, and I thought he was brilliant. He’s maybe the one that not everyone would’ve heard of and I think he’s got a really big future.”
King, who earned 50 caps for Wales across a nine-year spell, also shared his thoughts on the Dragons’ underwhelming tournament.
Rob Page’s side finished bottom of their group and lost two of their three games, including a 3-0 defeat to bitter rivals England.
“Disappointing, to be honest,” he said. “It’s going to be hard obviously when your talisman is getting a little bit older and can’t quite produce quite as regularly as he did but for Wales to be on the World Cup stage that’s what people need to remember.
“A nation of that size, just to be competing at that level, we would’ve taken that 20, 30 years ago, even 10 years ago we were ranked 110th in the world. Three major tournaments on the spin and I’m sure some of the younger lads will be better for the experience.”