‘This is the most competitive English national team since 1966’: Iran boss Carlos Queiroz says Gareth Southgate’s England team is the strongest since the country won the World Cup
- Iran face England in their opening World Cup game on Monday afternoon
- Carlos Queiroz thinks this is the best England team in over 50 years
- England have reached a final and semi-final in their last two tournaments
Iran manager Carlos Queiroz thinks his side are coming up against the strongest England team since 1966 on Monday.
England meet Iran in their World Cup opener, coming off the back of an appearance in the final of the European Championship.
They also made the semi-finals of the World Cup last time around and Queiroz knows his team are facing a real test.
Carlos Queiroz thinks his side are coming up against the strongest England team since 1966
‘It is the most important game of our lives, first of all because it is the next one, and the next game is always most important for the life of coaches and players,’ he said on Sunday, ahead of the game.
‘But also it is a unique opportunity, even for me, and I have 200-and-something international games.
‘But it is the first time I have the opportunity to play against the England national team. And for the majority of our players, to play against England is like magic, a unique opportunity, a gift, because in terms of the international calendar, to play England or Germany is almost impossible.
‘This new generation that Gareth Southgate is bringing for the national team in my opinion is probably the most talented, the most competitive English national team since 1966.
‘This team is very very functional, very practical, very realistic. I work with the generation of Rio, (Paul) Scholes, Beckham, all those guys. But this national team is really really different because they have a realistic approach to any single game which makes them very, very dangerous.’
Gareth Southgate’s England are looking to go one better after making a major final last year