Gareth Southgate: 'England have no big players'

Southgate: 'England have no big players'
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England manager Gareth Southgate rejects suggestions that his squad contains a number of "big players", insisting that they need to prove themselves by winning trophies.

England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted that his side need to prove themselves with silverware before they can begin to think of themselves as "big players".

The likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli have been lauded as being among the most exciting talents in world football over recent seasons, yet neither has won a trophy at club or international level.

Only Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge have tasted Champions League glory from the current England squad too, doing so with Chelsea in 2012, and Southgate believes that it is wrong to compare them to leading players from the likes of Spain and Germany.

"Well, are they big players until they win? We're talking about big players because of transfer fees or because they are playing in the Champions League. When we are in semi-finals, finals, winning trophies, then I think I think we're big players. Until that point, for me, we have it all to prove," he told reporters.

"I am the same as coach, so I don't disassociate myself from that. But we can't consider ourselves big players. Big players are [Gerard] Pique, [Sergio] Ramos, [Sergio] Busquets, [Toni] Kroos, [Sami] Khedira, [Manuel] Neuer - I could go on. That's what big players are.

"We create a bubble in our country around the league because of the money, because of the profile of it. We have it to prove. No problem, these guys are hungry to prove it."

England take on Lithuania in their final World Cup qualifier on Sunday knowing that their place in next summer's tournament is already secured.

Harry Kane shoots on goal during the Euro 2016 Group B game between England and Russia on June 11, 2016
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