Jamie Carragher has named England as the best team at this year’s World Cup despite their quarter-final exit to defending champions France.
England lost 2-1 to France on Saturday, exiting the World Cup at the quarter-final.
Carragher told The Telegraph: “There will be a natural temptation… to place Gareth Southgate’s side alongside those of Bobby Robson’s in Italia ’90 and Terry Venables in Euro ‘96 as gallant losers.
“Let’s have none of that. The biggest compliment I can pay Southgate’s side is that they do not belong with such company.
“This England team was no underdog going toe-to-toe with the world champions.
“This England team leaves the tournament having played better than any side in Qatar over their five games, a genuine contender that could and arguably should have gone all the way.”
The ex-Liverpool defender said that on reflection, there were several things that dictated Saturday’s result, which could easily have changed the outcome.
The 44-year-old wrote: “France won on the night because of moments – a stunning goal from distance and a cross from Antoine Griezmann that would have troubled any defence in the world.
“Then England missed a penalty, knowing that had Harry Kane equalised for a second time it would have carried positive momentum into extra-time.”
Whilst Carragher believes France were the best team in Russia in 2018, and victors Italy were the best team at Euro 2020, he saw enough from England to believe they were the best team in Qatar.
However, he questioned Southgate’s tactical changes during the France defeat, stating: “It is difficult to shrug off the feeling that the power England possessed in the squad was not fully utilised when the moment of truth arrived.”