Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri has heaped praise on England captain Harry Kane and winger Raheem Sterling, stating that their partnership will be a threat in the UEFA Euro 2020 final on Sunday, July 11.
Harry Kane, who has become England’s joint-top scorer in major tournaments (Euro and World Cup), has scored four goals in the Euro knockouts after drawing a blank in the group stage. Kane’s goal against Denmark made him just the second English player to score in the semi-final of a European championship.
Sterling, on the other hand, has been England’s top player in recent times as he has made 22 goal contributions (15 goals, seven assists) in just as many games for the Three Lions.
The Manchester City winger, who won a controversial penalty for England in the semi-final against Denmark, registered nine dribbles against the Danes - the most by any player in a single match of Euro 2020 and Sterling’s brilliance hasn’t been lost on Chhetri.
“Every attacking move for England has happened because of (Raheem) Sterling. The whole English team is heavily reliant on him going forward. Sterling can open up the opposition defence, get behind their defender to ask for a long ball, can take the ball and start dribbling which is his forte,” Sunil Chhetri said during a media interaction organised by Sony Sports Network.
Apart from Sterling, Chhetri credited Harry Kane for his impact on England. The Indian skipper believes there is no better number 9 for the Three Lions at present, and rated his opening goal against Ukraine as a “proper striker's finish” in Euro 2020.
"There are some really good ones but because maybe it's recent, I think for me Kane's goal. The toe-poke! Sterling cuts in and passes the ball. Kane gambles and he didn't reach the ball so he toe-poked it. For me, that was a proper striker’s finish,” the Indian football team captain said.
Furthermore, Chhetri reckoned that the Harry Kane-Raheem Sterling partnership is simply unmatched, especially in man-to-man situations.
“No country has a pairing like them (Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling). In man-to-man situations, Kane and Sterling can arguably beat anyone in the world.”
The Bengaluru FC frontman, though, insisted that Italy won’t be an easy team to beat in the UEFA Euro 2020 final. Chhetri expressed his admiration for Roberto Mancini's side, currently two games shy of matching the longest unbeaten run in international football.
“No matter which team you are, and against who you play, having a streak like this is outstanding. Italy does not have a flair like Spain or the individual brilliance of Brazil or Argentina but they are such a difficult team to play against,” Chhetri said.
Watch England vs Italy at UEFA EURO 2020 - Finals, Live on Sony Ten 2 channel on 12th July at 12:30 AM
Featured image: AFP / Alberto Lingria