Xavi impressed by England

The Barcelona playmaker believes England are strong enough to mount a challenge for World Cup glory next year in South Africa.

“England were the big absence from Euro 2008 and I expect they are itching to show they can win the World Cup,” Xavi said in the Daily Mirror.

“Fabio Capello has given the team great structure and belief. They have very competitive players with a lot of rhythm and intensity.

“They have a lot of players with individual quality like Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney, who is on great form at the moment.

“They are very competitive in defence too with Ferdinand and Terry and very difficult to penetrate.

“They will be our biggest rivals along with Brazil Italy and Germany. And we might see a surprise from an African country like Ivory Coast.”