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Harry Kane best England striker since Gary Lineker, says former France striker Louis Saha

England have quality but are a work in progress and hence unlikely to end World Cup wait, says former France striker Louis Saha.

football Updated: Jul 06, 2018 22:37 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Harry Kane,FIFA World Cup 2018,World Cup 2018
England's forward Harry Kane has six goals at FIFA World Cup 2018.(AFP)

England may have raised their fans’ hopes following a nerve-wracking victory on penalties against Colombia in the Round of 16, but for former France striker Louis Saha they are a work in progress and hence have little chance of ending their 52-year wait for a World Cup.

While acknowledging the quality England have shown in Russia, Saha said he thinks they would struggle to beat better teams.

“England have quality. They looked confident and there is suddenly talk of them going all the way. They have a defence that is doing well. But, they will have to beat better sides to win World Cup and I doubt they can beat team like Brazil,” said Saha, who is in India as Sony Pictures Network’s football expert for the World Cup.

The former Manchester United star, though, was all praise for England captain Harry Kane dubbing him the best striker England has produced since Gary Lineker.

“England have Harry Kane who has scored consistently in this tournament. I don’t think they had many strikers who could have performed better than him since the days of Gary Lineker,” he said.

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The 40-year-old, who was part of the France team ended up runners-up in 2006, backed FIFA’s decision to use VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in the World Cup.

“I think it’s a step taken in right direction. But still, it’s a transitional period and there are mistakes taking place. It’s improving. Good thing about VAR is that it gives decision that is right for everybody,” he said.

The ongoing football fiesta has seen a pattern of the so-called smaller teams punching above their weight and Saha said he considers it to be a good sign for the growth of the football. He believes it has happened because every nation is investing in the game now and bringing professionals from abroad to train its players.

“World football is changing because smaller nations have invested in training of their players. They bring foreigners: be it French, Spanish or someone from Netherlands to help their players understand the right technique.

“Physically, every country has improved now. They can upset bigger teams. You see goals because it’s hard to defend nowadays. Tactically and technically, they have become better even though they may lack in physical aspects of the game,” he said.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 21:18 IST