JURGEN KLINSMANN singled out Jude Bellingham for praise and said Gareth Southgate’s goal threat will have left their rivals feeling nervous as he made England one of the favourites to win the World Cup.
The former Tottenham striker won the World Cup with Germany in 1990. He then coached both his country and USA at World Cup finals when he moved into management.
The goalscoring legend is in Qatar working with FIFA and was blown away by England’s finishing as he watched their 6-2 opening win over Iran.
Klinsmann said: “What a super interesting game. Obviously England are one of the favourites for this World Cup.
“Jude Bellingham was THE player. The man of the match, in my opinion. He made the ball circulate. He was the connector in midfield. He was the play maker. First he was a bit deeper as a six, then he moved up further up as like an eight and ended up as a NO.10 role.
“And you can see [their threat] with five different goalscorers. Bellingham played an outstanding game, but everyone was really willing to stay alert.
“They didn’t slow down. Iran always tried to slow down the game, but England kept the pace, they kept the tempo, they kept the ball moving even until the very last minute.
“And then obviously when you have a bench like England has right now and brings in players like Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and every opponent gets a little bit nervous. What a wonderful start for England in this World Cup.”
Klinsmann added that all is not lost for Iran side with matches against Wales and America still to come.
But he was more focussed on Southgate’s ability to get his players performing like they do for their clubs in the Bundesliga and Premier League.
Klinsmann was speaking on the FIFA Insight Live podcast, which is streaming now on all platforms.
He added: “They didn’t let the Iranians slow down the game. They played their style of football that we see week by week in the Premier League. You know, fast one-two touches, really quick and they kept a tempo going.
“When you do that, you open up spaces and your individual players then start to shine in a certain way.”
A new series for the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA Insight Live features Klinsmann alongside the likes of Arsene Wenger. They will be breaking down all 64 matches in Qatar on the whistle as part of the FIFA Training Centre, applying new metrics and data to help fans understand football in more depth.