England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford insists Spain counterpart David De Gea remains ‘one of the best in the world’ despite a below-par World Cup.
The Everton shot-stopper enjoyed a strong tournament in Russia but he insisted the Manchester United number one was still ahead of him and firmly among the world’s elite.
“De Gea is a great goalkeeper, one of the best in the world,” Pickford told reporters at his pre-match press conference.
“Sometimes there are games when things do not work out like they normally do, but I respect him a lot for what a great goalkeeper he is.
“Spain are a great team, but we're ready, these are the games we want to play in – against the best sides in the world. I will need to be fully focused, but we have players to do damage up front.
“Against Croatia? It was weird to play behind closed doors, it was strange and even though I heard the English fans who were outside, Monday will be totally different.”