‘Best player on the pitch by a mile’ – Joe Cole heaps praise on Declan Rice after win over Italy

After England’s 2-1 win over Italy on Thursday in their Euro 2024 qualifying opener, Joe Cole has lauded Declan Rice as “the best player on the pitch.”

As reports the Daily Mail, the victory was secured with goals from Rice and Harry Kane, who became England’s all-time leading goal scorer with his strike. Rice scored the opener in the first half after England’s good work at a corner.

He played the full 90 minutes and delivered an exceptional performance, including some excellent defending in the closing stages after Luke Shaw’s dismissal. Speaking on Channel 4 after the game (via Daily Mail), Cole praised Rice and claimed that he was a cut above the rest in Italy.

He said: ‘Declan Rice was the best player on the pitch by a mile,’

‘Terrible defending for the goal, but he’s alive to it. If it’s a centre-forward we’re talking about instinct. He was outstanding from start to finish.’

With 10 minutes left in the match, Luke Shaw was shown two yellow cards in quick succession, reducing England to 10 men. Despite this setback, Rice played a pivotal role in midfield as his team held on to secure a valuable victory.

After the final whistle, Cole reflected on the significance of the win, stating that it was an exceptional feeling to come out on top in such a manner.