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Michael Owen leads England fans in criticising decision to let San Marino play football’s big boys

Michael Owen admits he is ‘rapidly falling out of love with international football’ as he joins England fans in criticising ‘pointless’ international matches after watching the Three Lions put 10 goals past San Marino in World Cup qualifying


Michael Owen admitted he is ‘rapidly falling out of love with international football’ after watching England qualifying for the 2022 World Cup with a 10-0 win over San Marino.

The Three Lions booked their place at next winter’s Qatar tournament with a dominant win over the world’s lowest-ranked side – with Gareth Southgate’s side going 6-0 up at half-time with captain Harry Kan netting four. 

Owen, who played at three World Cups with England during his playing career, joined other Three Lions fans in questioning why minnows such as San Marino are pitted against top international teams.

England sealed their spot at the Qatar World Cup next year with a 10-0 win over San Marino

Michael Owen claims he is 'falling out of love with international football' after the thrashing

Michael Owen claims he is ‘falling out of love with international football’ after the thrashing

The former striker tweeted: ‘Rapidly falling out of love with watching international football barring the big tournaments. I think a lot of people feel the same way. Half of these games are absolutely pointless. A restructure is needed.’

England took just six minutes to take the lead in Serravalle when Harry Maguire headed home, with Fillippo Fabbri’s own goal doubling the Three Lions’ lead just 10 minutes later.

Captain Kane then took his overall England goal tally to 48 by netting four before the interval – including two penalties won via San Marino handballs. 

Emile Smith Rowe netted a seventh for England after the break before strikes by Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka took the lead into double digits as San Marino defender Dante Rossi was sent off for two yellow cards.

Roy Keane admitted he felt sorry for the European minnows,who lost all ten of their games – conceding 46 goals and scoring just once.  

‘I feel sorry for them,’ the ITV pundit said on Monday. ‘They are well short on every aspect of the game. They shouldn’t be on the same pitch as England.

‘What can the manager say before the game? “Come on lads, we can do it?” To get beaten every game must be heartbreaking for them.’ 

The minnows have not won a competitive match in their entire history, with a 2004 friendly win over Liechtenstein being their only ever victory.  

San Marino lost all 10 of their qualification games and have never won a competitive fixture

San Marino lost all 10 of their qualification games and have never won a competitive fixture

One fan on social media questioned: ‘What is the actual point in San Marino’s national team?’

Another added: ‘This San Marino vs England game is a waste of everybody’s time. There needs to be a pre-qualifying stage for the World Cup and Euros.’

One supporter posted: ‘What do you expect from a country where all males between the ages of 17-40 were called up to the National Team. They have like 50 people in the entire country! There are apartment buildings with more people in some countries. Waste of time.’

Other England fans questioned why the Three Lions have to play minnows like San Marino

Other England fans questioned why the Three Lions have to play minnows like San Marino

Another fan tweeted: ‘I don’t even find this funny with San Marino, it’s a waste of time. Shouldn’t be allowed to play at this level. COP26 action plan – stop sending these losers round the world to play football.’

‘England playing San Marino when I was a kid was a stupid waste of time and here we are years later still playing them. Pointless. Makes the tournament a joke,’ added another fan.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk