English trio Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney have a skill-set comparable to players like Spain trident Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Negredo and Pedro, according to Gianfranco Zola, a legendary former forward at Chelsea, who was previewing the strength of the 30-man provisional Three Lions squad ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil.
Much scrutiny was made over the players selected, or omitted, by England national team manager Roy Hodgson, as the highly-experienced international boss elected for youth over experience, with Ashley Cole overlooked in favour of Southampton wonderkid Luke Shaw.
It is not only the potential of prospects like Shaw, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling who excite Zola most, but the players who are due a big tournament after consistent respective seasons at club level.
He is quoted by Four Four Two to have said: "[England have] established quality in Gerrard and Rooney. You have a good mix. Sturridge can score goals and has great qualities, and many of them look more and more like international footballers. They have Spanish-style skills we didn’t always associate with English football, and that is great news.”
England were drawn into Group D and will vie for two qualifying spots into the knockout stage along with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica.