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08th Jul 2018

Germany legend hails John Stones as one of the world’s best defenders

John Stones has hardly put a foot wrong this tournament

Reuben Pinder

England have been receiving praise for their style of play

Imagine that. England, boring old England, being praised for their cultured, expansive style of play. Quite incredible isn’t it? It would explain why the country goes into anarchy after every win.

One of the most notable figures to praise England’s performances at this World Cup is Germany legend and World Cup winner Lothar Matthäus. The man who captained the Germany side to crush English dreams the last time they made a semi-final, in 1990, has sung the praises of England and in particular John Stones.

After England’s round of 16 win over Colombia, he said:

“I was supporting England because I like the style they’ve played these last two years and I became a little bit of a fan when they won the friendly against Germany in Berlin, 3-2 [in 2016].

“I started to get the feeling that this team could be dangerous in the next few tournaments.”

He continued, highlighting John Stones’ influence on the way England play. Evidently, Pep Guardiola’s coaching has not gone to waste on the young centre-back.

“I said to my neighbour [in the seat next to me], ‘This Stones is one of the best central defenders in the world’.”

Matthäus also described Harry Kane as a candidate for the Ballon d’Or, saying that a World Cup victory would push him close to securing the award.

“I think the highest thing you can win in this period, to be the best, is the World Cup,” he said.