goals galore | 

Rio Ferdinand picks out England’s star man as they go goal crazy at the World Cup

Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka (2), Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish scored the England goals

Jude Bellingham made a sensational World Cup finals debut© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

England turned on the style to thump Iran 6-2 in their World Cup opener in Qatar, with former captains Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand leading the chorus of praise for a teenager who lived up to his billing in the grand manner.

Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka (2), Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish scored the England goals, as they sent out a message that they will be contenders at the World Cup.

Borussia Dortmund starlet Bellingham was outstanding as he stamped his authority on the World Cup, with Ferdinand lavishing praise on the Borussia Dortmund star.

"I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player in our country speak so eloquently at his age, at this level, he’s captain material,” said Ferdinand of the 19-year-old.

"His game matches it but also he can do anything in there, speaking to youth coaches, he can play in the six, equally as good in the eight and almost in the 10. How it gets packaged up will determine where he goes next.”

Manchester City and Liverpool have been strongly linked with a move to sign Bellingham this summer, with Shearer convinced he will find a home at a big club.

"It’s given him great experience [playing regularly for Dortmund], letting him understand the game, know the game and I think it’s worked for him perfectly and his career," said Shearer added.

"It’s only a matter of time before he goes on to a huge club like Real Madrid or Liverpool because that’s the talent that you’re talking about.

"First and foremost to be an England captain you have to perform on the football pitch but the way he carries himself, the way he talks, it’s fantastic."

Shearer also summed up England’s opening performance, as he was impressed with their attacking approach.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka shone for England with two goals© Getty Images

"Magnificent from start to finish, the way they started the game, the passing and moving,” declared Shearer.

"Set-pieces, when you play against a team who sit men behind the ball, you have to have width. England have had all of that. Every single player has played their part, it's been superb to watch.”

While Iran were second best in every department, Ferdinand insisted game’s against minnows like Iran can be challenging.

"It's not that easy,” said the Manchester United legend.

“You go out there, you get these teams and you think 'this is meant to be a pushover' but it doesn't work out like that unless you go out there and you perform. These boys, every one of them, to a man, played well.”

Meanwhile, fans heading to England’s World Cup opener with Iran have had ticket problems as they attempted to enter the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

With the 4pm local time kick-off approaching, some supporters were frantically refreshing the official ticketing mobile app on their phones in a bid to have their QR code load.

This left them stressed and frustrated, with a group of England fans also seen arguing with officials as they kept being told entry to the queue was closed and being repeatedly moved down to another entrance.

One England fan said they should have “just used paper tickets” and criticised the organisation of the entry.

A PA news agency reporter heading in with a ticket found their ticket app only started working about 60 seconds before they reached the front of the queue, having failed to work in the previous couple of hours.

FIFA acknowledged some fans were experiencing issues accessing their tickets and said it was working on solving the issue.

It advised them to visit the stadium’s “ticket resolution point” for support.

Free Lions, the Football Supporters’ Association team that provides travel and logistical advice to fans, said on Twitter: “We’re aware of issues with some e-tickets at the stadium with FIFA’s ticketing app. The FA is working hard to find a resolution for England fans.

“If you have issues seeing your ticket on the app, join the ticketing resolution queue at the stadium, but keep checking the app.”


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