Former German international midfielder Michael Ballack has come out with a controversial statement in saying that England are a ‘bit behind’ Germany ahead of their friendly to be played on Tuesday.
The former Chelsea star went on to say that the Three Lions are not on par with Germany or Spain but they remained a ‘big name’.
"I don't see England as being the same level as teams like Germany or Spain. They're a bit behind," Ballack told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.
"They have a lot of talented players, but are still a big name. We always had great respect when we played England.”
Ballack did however say that Tuesday’s friendly between the two countries will be a tough clash and also that the English must go into next year’s World Cup with confidence because of the quality in their squad.
"This is not a real friendly game. England are playing Germany and it's always a big rivalry.”
"At the next World Cup England must use their name, use their quality and have confidence. Then everything is possible,” he added.
"When Germany goes to a big tournament we know we have to deliver because teams before us have done it.”
"We don't want to be the team that goes out of the tournament early, so that creates a certain type of pressure," Ballack concluded.
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