Fabio Cannavaro has spoken out about England’s centre-back pairing John Stones and Harry Maguire, claiming that they lack the determination of Giorgio Chiellini.
The Italian legend, 48, remains one of only three defenders in the history of the sport to have won the Ballon d’Or. His 2006 triumph added him to a short list of defensive winners that contains Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer.
In a recent interview with The Sun, Cannavaro spoke about England’s defenders and touched upon what they are missing.
“Stones and Maguire have showed promise in the last few years,” Cannavaro said. “They know how to play football and are, without doubt, England’s best two defenders.
“They play a different way though [compared to Italian defenders], and are both missing the grit and wickedness that Chiellini possesses. He’s very determined.
“Chiellini still symbolises what Italian defenders are all about and his concentration levels are unrivalled. He knows how to stop an attacker in the most difficult of moments.
“In Italy we have a saying that goes, ‘great attackers sell tickets, but great defenders win games’ and this rings true.”