Villa backs England to go far

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The Independent Online

Spain striker David Villa believes England can win the World Cup and has likened them to his own side who struggled to live up to expectations until their victory in Euro 2008.

Spain head into the tournament as favourites while England have stuttered in recent games with yesterday's 3-0 win over the Platinum Stars an underwhelming conclusion to their build-up.

However, Villa - who has just moved from Valencia to Barcelona - believes Fabio Capello's side are among the best.

He told The Sun: "Yes, England are good enough to win the World Cup.

"Absolutely. They are a bit like Spain, aren't they?

"The fact is, they have always had good teams and they have found it difficult in the big competitions. But the day will come, won't it?

"I think they have a perfect generation to make it to the final - and they will surely be one of the teams to beat."

Villa, who will partner Liverpool striker Fernando Torres up front, added: "Individually, England have some of the best players - in defence, midfield as well as attack.

"They have a great manager and a team that can perfectly well reach the final.

"I like a lot of their players but this season I would pick out Wayne Rooney.

"Frank Lampard also had a marvellous season and I have a special kind of admiration for Steven Gerrard."