Ferdinand and Neville name Man City star as the ‘only defender’ that can stop Kylian Mbappe


Rio Ferdinand has named England and Manchester City’s Kyle Walker as the ‘only defender on the planet’ that can stop France World Cup star Kylian Mbappe.

Ferdinand’s former Manchester United and England team-mate Gary Neville also views the Manchester City full-back as the ‘perfect’ player to nullify Mbappe ahead of a potential quarter-final clash against France.

Mbappe helped France win the World Cup in Russia four years ago and has enjoyed an impressive start to this campaign, scoring three goals in two games.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar opened his tally in Qatar in France’s emphatic 4-1 win over Australia and then scored twice in a narrow 2-1 victory against Denmark.

Having already qualified for the knockout stages, France will likely play the runner-up from Group C, which is currently Argentina, although that could change as Lionel Messi’s side face Poland on Wednesday.

England secured top spot in Group B with a comfortable 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday night and will face African champions Senegal in the last-16.

A possible quarter-final clash with France awaits and while Didier Deschamps’ side look one of the strongest teams in Qatar, Old Trafford legends Ferdinand and Neville believe England’s Walker could nullify their star man Mbappe.

Walker was only deemed fit enough to be on the bench for England’s opening two group games but returned to the starting line-up against Wales, replacing Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier.

‘I always thought we’d play three at the back in this tournament, but I don’t think we will now,’ Neville told Sky Sports when asked how he believes Gareth Southgate will set England up for the rest of the tournament.

‘I didn’t think the centre-back pairing would be strong enough, but John Stones and Harry Maguire are holding up.

‘It’s whether what they’ve played against so far in the first three games is going to be anything like what they face moving forward, and I don’t think it is.

‘It looks like a collision course waiting to happen doesn’t it? Mbappe versus Walker. We’ve got the perfect right-back to deal with Mbappe if anyone can – physical, pace, experience.’

Ferdinand also addressed the potential England v France clash on his YouTube channel, adding: ‘For me, Kyle Walker is the only defender on the planet right now that will stand there and go to Mbappe: “Right, 1-v-1, let’s have a race.”

‘He will back himself too. We saw it in the Euros. He’s got the confidence to do that and he’s the only one capable of doing that I think.’

Neville, meanwhile, has praised Manchester United captain Harry Maguire for putting his inconsistent club form behind him and starring in Qatar.

England are yet to concede at the World Cup, with Maguire justifying his place in the team despite a poor start to the season at Old Trafford.

‘I think he feels loved more by England maybe, I think he feels more at home,’ Neville said of Maguire.

‘During my career, I can’t think of one player who played better for their country than their club. Harry Maguire does. A number of players feel like that, Raheem Sterling i

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