England are World Cup contenders, says Chelsea defender Koulibaly

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England must be considered among the world's very best sides and they are capable of going all the way in Qatar, says Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Three Lions defeated Koulibaly's Senegal 3-0 on Sunday at Al Bayt Stadium to seal their place in the last eight of the World Cup.

England, World Cup semi-finalists in 2018 and Euro 2020 finalists last year, are the tournament's leading scorers with 12 goals, while they have conceded only twice across their four matches.

France are next up for England on Saturday and while Koulibaly knows the Les Bleus will provide the sternest of challenges, he believes Gareth Southgate's team have every chance of going even deeper into the tournament.

"They are very good. We know that they have a lot of talent, a lot of big players, we know all of them," Koulibaly told reporters.

"They played very well, they can go far, but the next game will be tough against France. I hope the best will win.

"They have so many options but we know every game is different in the World Cup. You can score a lot in one game and then the next one will be difficult to score.

"They have to keep going and believe it, I think they can go far."

After losing to the Netherlands in their opening Group A match, Senegal – shorn of star player Sadio Mane through injury – beat Qatar and Ecuador to progress in second place, and Koulibaly is happy with what the Africa Cup of Nations champions have achieved in Qatar.

He said: "It was a beautiful tournament for us. We wanted to get out of the group stage, we did it, and now it was a tough game against one of the best teams in the world. We can be proud of what we did."

Koulibaly's Chelsea club-mate Edouard Mendy added: "Dealing with defeat is not difficult. We came up against a better team than us, we have to accept that, England played at their best.

"They also had all their players at their disposal while we were missing some key players. We had to play without Sadio. We also had Idrissa [Gueye] and Cheikhou [Kouyate] missing.

"So when you play against a team like that with key players missing, it is complicated.

"But throughout the tournament and throughout the year, we have shown that Senegal is more than 11 players, it is a group.

"We will continue to move forward, to progress and we will come back stronger in the 2026 World Cup, God willing."