'England has been the most impressive team so far' - Didi Hamann's predicts World Cup glory for Gareth Southgate's side
Didi Hamann believes England have been the most impressive team so far at this summer's World Cup, as he backed Gareth Southgate's side to go close to the ultimate glory in Sunday's final in Moscow.
Speaking to Yahoo Sport, the former Germany international was glowing in his praise of Southgate's side, who will take on Croatia in a World Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.
“They are playing with the ultimate confident and it’s a joy to watch,” said the former Liverpool midfielder. “The way they use the ball, they make it look easy and now there is every chance.
“England have been the most impressive team so far. Against Sweden (2-0 win in the quarter-finals) they were magnificent. The way they performed, they were exceptional. You can’t play much better than they did.
“This is a World Cup where the unexpected has happened. England can beat Croatia and they could win the final.”
Hamann believes the blend of team unity and a clear vision provided by coach Southgate has transformed England from pretenders to contenders on the international stage, even though he admits the current squad lacks the individual brilliance of yesteryear.
“I don’t think the players are as good as they have been in the past, but it almost doesn’t matter,” he added.
“The style of play has changed and so have attitudes. I wouldn’t question the mentality of the players in the last ten or 15 years, I have played with a lot of them.
“But in this situation, everybody has got to be united. It has to be about the team not the person. In the past that hasn’t happened. Southgate wasn’t flash, he was a team player. That’s what sets him apart. He knew there was a chance to make history. That’s why I think they can go all the way.”
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.