World Cup 2018: Diego Maradona praises England's desire to 'go out and play'

Diego Maradona
Maradona, the Golden Ball winner as Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, has attended their first two group games in Russia

Diego Maradona says England are reaping the benefits of teaching players to be more comfortable on the ball.

The Argentina legend has seen his nation struggle at the World Cup while England have made a 100% start.

The Three Lions overcame a physical Panama team 6-1 on Sunday to claim their biggest ever World Cup win.

"They want to go out and play. I don't think it's the coach. It comes from below - they are under-17 and under-20 world champions," said Maradona.

With those tournament wins coming last year, none of the players have yet stepped into the senior England team.

However, manager Gareth Southgate did coach Jesse Lingard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek at under-21 level.

Southgate has encouraged his players to play out from the back and was "proud" they "didn't just throw the ball in the box" when they were pushing for a winner against Tunisia in their opening World Cup group game.

"It seems to me that the likes of Sterling, Kane, Vardy and Stones give the ball another touch," Maradona told Venezuelan TV channel Telesur.

"This speaks clearly that the boys are being forged in a way England did not have before.

"They don't hit the ball across half the pitch. No, they want to go out playing and they found some other attributes with respect to the opponent they had [Panama]."


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories