Wayne Rooneybelieves thatDidier Deschamps‘ France are the “clear favourites” to win Euro 2020 this summer ahead of England, Portugal and Belgium.
The 35-year-old Derby County manager made a real impact early in his Three Lions career when he burst onto the scene at Euro 2004.
Rooney, who was named as one of the best strikers in European Championship history, was featured in UEFA’s Team of the Tournament as England were knocked out by Portugal in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals.
England are considered as one of the favourites at the Euros as they sit in Group D with Scotland, Czech Republic and Croatia.
France are in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ with Germany, Hungary and defending Euro champions Portugal.
Deschamps’ men missed out on the Euro 2016 title to Portugal before Les Bleus went on to capture the 2018 World Cup trophy.
Rooney pointed towards France’s star-studded talent as one of the reasons why he believes that they could avenge their Euro 2016 defeat by capturing the Euro 2020 trophy.
The Manchester United legend wrote forThe Times: “England are among a group of four teams that stand above the rest in terms of prospects at Euro 2020.
“Portugal and Belgium are in there too, but my clear favourites are France.
“Kylian Mbappe, N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Hugo Lloris: you look at their quality, experience and track record as world champions and realise that if their players turn up, they will win the tournament, no problem.”
Rooney added that France showed their quality in Russia during the World Cup, saying they were a strong, united team in the competition.
“They are not just a collection of great talents,” he said.
“On the pitch, as we saw in Russia in 2018, France are very much a team and unity gets stronger when you win things together.
“I just cannot imagine any one of Didier Deschamps’ players thinking, ‘I’m going to be the star to win the tournament for us.’ They will take their time, be composed, and try to do it together.”
The former Everton and United striker also praised N’Golo Kante as he branded the Chelsea star as the “ultimate team player” for France.
Rooney insisted that Kante has qualities of both Yaya Toure and Claude Makelele, adding that the French international is the “best midfielder in the world.”
The ex-England skipper explained: “France have perhaps the ultimate team player in Kante.
“In the Champions League final, he gave the perfect performance. He does everything: breaks up play but then plays in tight areas and starts off the attack.
“You used to see it with Yaya Toure, how he would get the ball and burst forward with it and it is so hard to defend against. Kante does all that but also protects his defence like Claude Makelele once did — only better.
“It’s unbelievable to have a footballer who is Toure and Makelele rolled into one — and then there’s Kante’s energy. At Chelsea, you see his energy bringing a lot out of the other players.
“Whenever Kante bursts forward you’ll see two or three of them bursting forward too, not worried about leaving their positions because if the ball is turned over they know he’s going to get back in shape and break up the counter-attack.
“For me he is the best midfielder in the world.”
Featured Image Credit: PA