‘Spain to thank for England success’

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Pep Guardiola and Spain are to thank for England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals.

England reached their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years on Saturday, courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Sweden, and Scholes – who played 66 times for the Three Lions – felt they had ‘copied’ facets of the style popularised by Guardiola and Spain.

“Guardiola? He is definitely [an influence on England],” he told BeIN Sports.

“Especially when you see the way they’ve got the back three, the way they’ve got the goalkeeper playing.

“I don’t think Gareth [Southgate] has made any secret of that. He’s been to see Pep and he’s picked his brain.

“He wants to know how he produces that type of football. As an England fan and ex-England player, we want to see the best possible football.

“Spain played the best football, Manchester City played the best football, so why not try and copy that type of play?”

Tags 2018 World Cup England Paul Scholes Spain