FIFA World Cup: 'England have silenced their critics,' says Rice

England has played four games in Qatar, winning three and drawing one

By Web Desk
December 06, 2022
England defeated Senegal to qualify for the quarter-final on Monday — AFP

Declan Rice has claimed that England's "faultless" performances in the FIFA World Cup 2022 have "silenced" their pre-tournament critics.

On Sunday, Gareth Southgate's team easily defeated Senegal 3-0 to advance to the quarterfinals, where they will take on defending champions France.

England has played four games in Qatar, winning three and drawing one.

"I don't think we get the credit we deserve in our performances,
 said Rice. "If you look at other teams, like the Netherlands and Argentina, they win their games comfortably and they get called 'masterclasses'.

"With us, it always gets picked off. The negative things always come that way. If you look at the last couple of games, it's been faultless. I think countries should be starting to fear us now because we're a great team."

England have scored 12 goals in four games in Qatar, which is equal to their 12 goals from the 2018 World Cup and is the nation's joint-most at a major tournament.

Additionally, they have kept a clean sheet in their last three FIFA World Cup contests, which is their best stretch of contests without giving up a goal since 1982.

"Going into the tournament, there was a lot of talk that we don't score enough goals. That's another one we've kept people quiet on," added Rice.

"There was a lot of scrutiny around the defence and conceding goals, but it's been solid. We're going to keep building and pushing."

In response to the pressure of facing Paris St. Germain and France's Kylian Mbappe in the quarterfinal on Saturday, Rice asserted that England have nothing to fear about.

"These are the games we want to play in. They only come around once. England versus France, quarter-final — it doesn't get bigger than that," the West Ham midfielder added.

"I'm sure the world will be watching. We really want to progress. There's no point buzzing [about victory over Senegal] if we can't push on and beat France."

England will take on France in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup on December 10.