• World Cup

Mata tips England for World Cup success

ESPN staff
May 31, 2014
Juan Mata has branded Wayne Rooney a 'world-class player' © Getty Images

Juan Mata believes England are capable of winning the World Cup with their mixture of experience and youth.

Mata, who has been named in defending champions Spain's final squad for the World Cup, feels hosts Brazil are the favourites to win, but says England are contenders.

"I think they can try to reach the semi-final, final, try to win the title, because they have 23 very good players going," the Manchester United playmaker said.

"They have a good manager, so why not? They have great young players and they have a talented squad for England to try to compete and to try to win it.

"For example Wayne Rooney, who is my team-mate now at Manchester United, he is a world-class player. I think there are a lot of good teams. Brazil, who are probably the favourites, and obviously Argentina, Holland, Germany, France, Italy, England - I think they can all try to win."

Hodgson surprised many by selecting a youthful-looking squad, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, 19, Luke Shaw, 18, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both 20, making the plane to Brazil alongside the experienced Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Rooney.

But despite the lack of international experience for those players, Mata says they will be given the best guidance by the man in charge.

"All of them are like 20, 21, 22 at the most," he said. "Maybe they don't have the experience, but they have the talent. What they need is a manager to give them confidence and Roy Hodgson does that."

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