France legend William Gallas has heaped praise on England midfielder Declan Rice ahead of the FIFA World Cup quarter-final showdown between the two nations.
Rice, 23, has been a prominent member of Gareth Southgate’s midfield, making four appearances.
Over the years, the West Ham United captain has become one of the Premier League’s top midfield talents.
He has made 215 appearances for the Hammers, scoring 11 goals and contributing 12 assists.
Gallas was asked which England player scares him the most heading into the quarter-final clash between the Three Lions and France.
The former Chelsea defender explained that although he is not fearful of one player, he believes Rice is an unbelievable talent.
“Declan Rice is (in) England’s squad and no one is really speaking about him but he’s unbelievable. He does the same thing with West Ham and I don’t know why he’s still there.”
“For a long time, I’ve not seen a midfielder like him – he’s strong, powerful and technically he’s unbelievable.”
Togetherness pushing us on! Another unbelievable night in an England shirt! Let’s keep pushing
The Three Lions boast an exciting crop of midfield talent, with Rice joined by Borussia Dortmund teenager Jude Bellingham at the center of the park.
Southgate has reaped the rewards of trusting the young duo, with Rice at the pivot of a 4-3-3 formation.
This has allowed Bellingham to venture forward, score one goal and provide an assist in four outings.
Southgate had started Mason Mount in a 6-2 win over IR Iran and a disappointing 0-0 draw with the USA.
He has since replaced the Chelsea attacker with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, and the 33-year-old’s experience has been key.
However, Rice’s dominance and presence in midfield has been instrumental in the Three Lions’ journey to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup.
Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva on potentially facing England or France in the semi-finals
Should England or France prevail in their quarter-final encounter, they will come up against either Portugal or Morocco in the semi-finals.
Selecao das Quinas secured a phenomenal 6-1 last-16 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday, 6 December.
Silva played in the thrashing of the Swiss but is not too fond of potentially taking on England if Portugal advance past Morocco on Saturday.
He was asked about a potential clash against his Manchester City teammates.
City have five players in Southgate’s squad: Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips, John Stones, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish.
Silva responded (via the Evening Standard):
“It would be tough, to be honest, but there’s France as well. I wish the Man City lads all the best. I honestly don’t want to play against them.”
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