New Delhi [India], December 29 (ANI): According to former England goalkeeper David James, the Three Lions playing in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium was the highlight of the year 2021.
The Gareth Southgate-managed England side missed out on a maiden European Championship triumph after losing in a close final which lead to the penalty shootout where Italy triumphed.
Asked about the highlight of the year 2021, David James told ANI: "Messi winning the Copa America for the first time generated a lot of interest globally. I think from the English perspective, the Euros predominantly being hosted in England and the Three Lions entering into the final will be my highlight. As an ex-England player to see the national team achieve something that myself and many generations were unable to do."
"Difficult to top especially when it's at your home, in England. For me, that (Euro 2020 Final) was the football highlight of the year," he added. Italy's Triumph in EURO 2020 could be relived on Sony from December 27 to 31 at 9:30 pm IST.
James, who has over 500 Premier League appearances, also said that Lionel Messi moving to Paris Saint-Germain FC was the biggest shock for him. "The move of Messi to PSG was the biggest shock not because that was PSG but simply because Messi has left Barcelona. That was kinda like the unwritten law that Messi will never leave that club," he said.
James also opined on the ongoing Champions League campaign, saying that his former club Liverpool and Manchester City will clash in the final of UCL and added: "The PSG and Real Madrid match is the match I am looking forward to in the UCL next round clash."
He also opposed the idea of the FIFA World Cup being held every two years but suggested a secondary tournament by the world body in which nations who hasn't qualified for the WC will play.
"I am not happy with the idea of a primary World Cup every two years. And I think of India straight away because India's position in FIFA Rankings, potential to qualify for WC every four years, two years is gonna be difficult. For example, Indian players don't play enough games during the course of ISL and I-League season which is always gonna hamper the international chances because the international team doesn't gets enough games."
"Looking at UEFA's policies, there is room for a second world cup or better name like WC 2," he said.
"Running a WC every four years as it traditionally which mean there will be no change in the status quo. Having a WC almost second year or third year for the sides that didn't qualify for WC creates an opportunity ideally for the likes of India to qualify into the international competition," the 51-year-old explained.
"Of course, it would be like UEL in comparison to UCL," he added. "But if I were an Indian footballer in India and I knew I had a chance of playing against the teams from all around the world then I would see it as a better opportunity to develop football infrastructure within India," the former England international turned football pundit said.
"There is a better format and structure, which will benefit more people rather than just creaming off the best countries in the world," he added. (ANI)