Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne backed Manchester City team-mate and England attacker Raheem Sterling to “light up the World Cup”.
De Bruyne and Sterling are set to do battle in Group G, with Belgium and England meeting June 28.
The duo starred to lead City to a record-breaking title success in the Premier League in 2017-18.
And De Bruyne believes his club team-mate, who scored 18 goals and provided 11 assists in the Premier League last season, is ready to dominate for England in Russia.
“He’s a special player. This season he was playing at such a high level and he’s only going to get better,” he told The Mirror.
“He’s a winner – any criticism he has faced in the last few weeks I know he will just ignore. At Manchester City he’s so focused on success and I know he would have the same attitude with England.
“He scored many goals last season, but he scored important goals too – goals that won games in the last minute – and that takes a special type of player.
“On the big occasions he has the confidence – that is why I think he will light up the World Cup.”
Sterling and England face a huge test to finish top of their group, with Belgium heading into the World Cup with a star-studded squad.
De Bruyne said Roberto Martinez’s men were full of belief, with their first outing a clash against Panama Monday.
“We know this Belgium squad is special and, of course, we’re desperate to win a trophy,” he said.
“We have the belief, but there can only be one nation that wins the World Cup – but we’re ready for the fight.”
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