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‘I said to him’: Declan Rice now shares what he told £100m Liverpool target in the tunnel yesterday
Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

‘I said to him’: Declan Rice now shares what he told £100m Liverpool target in the tunnel yesterday

England couldn’t have asked for a better start to the World Cup, and West Ham United fans will be very proud of their captain’s performance.

Declan Rice was brilliant in the centre of the park, and continues to get better and better in an England shirt.

He spoke to the Evening Standard after the match, and discussed the Three Lions’ opening game.

Rice was partnered in midfield by Borussia Dortmund star and Liverpool target Jude Bellingham.

The 19-year-old was phenomenal yesterday, and scored his first goal for England to begin the rout.

Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

He headed in a fantastic cross from Luke Shaw that set England on their way to dominate their opponents.

Aside from his goal, Bellingham ran the show in the centre of the park alongside Rice.

Happy to drop deep and link play between defence and attack, or pop up in more advance positions to threaten Iran’s defence, it was an amazing performance from Bellingham.

Rice has now shared what he said to Bellingham in the tunnel before they made their World Cup debuts.

What Rice said to Bellingham in the tunnel yesterday

Rice was asked about his midfield partner by the Evening Standard and how Bellingham affects his role in the team.

“We have played together four or five times now,” Rice said.

“I said to him in the tunnel: ‘This is your stage, go and flourish. I’ll be there behind you to sweep up and give you the ball for you to go and do your thing.’

“I know my role in this team. I am there to stand in front of the back four, protect, get on the ball and move it around.

“I feel like we did that really well. We stuck to the game plan and, in the end, the spaces opened up. You saw the goals we scored with some really lovely play.”

Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Bellingham, who has been valued at £100m, has been on Liverpool’s radar for a while.

There’s previously been suggestions that Liverpool should instead look at Rice over the 19-year-old.

Both are excellent players, but Bellingham’s incredible potential makes him the most exciting choice.

Southgate will be hoping Rice shares more wisdom with Bellingham in the tunnel in their other games as well.

The pair are going to be so important to England’s chance of succeeding in Qatar this month.

From what we’ve seen so far, they look to complement each other excellently.

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