Chelsea’s Mason Mount has taken a friendly dig at England team-mate Declan Rice by refusing to give him a place in his FIFA Ultimate Team.
The duo are good friends and will line up for England at this summer’s European Championship. They were both in the Chelsea youth teams before Rice defected to West Ham United. And the banter is flying about ahead of the summer showpiece.
And now Mount has twisted the knife in further. The Blues star, a keen gamer, has joined Combat Gaming as brand ambassador.
And he risked the wrath of his great friend by refusing to name him among the game’s elite.
“Dec would not be in my FIFA Ultimate Team. He would understand it,” he said. “It’s got some icons in, and I feel his card at the moment is not going to fit in my team. He’d be on the bench, or maybe the reserves.”
And he further joked that Rice might just make his Call of Duty crew.
“My squad for the next Combat tournament for the England team? Mingsy in there, Tyrone Mings, he’s a gamer,” he added. “And I’d have Dec in there, because he’s been in and around it, been in tournaments and played big players in a tournament. I feel like he’d know how to step up.”
Calm before the storm for Mount and Rice
England have one final preparation game before the summer festivities get under way. Gareth Southgate’s charges will go up against Romania on Sunday.
Seven days later and battle will commence with Croatia as they begin their Group D campaign. Matches against Scotland and Czech Republic follow and expectations are high that they could go far in the tournament.
Southgate has said that not reaching the semi-finals will be considered a failure. And he will need his players to step up when things get tough.
It remains to be seen if Mount and Rice get the nod for the opener. But the boss will hope that their relationship can be echoed throughout the squad.
It will help to create a happy environment – vital to challenge for the trophy.