Michael Owen believes England will face the best team in the world when they meet France on Sunday, but the striker refuses to be overawed by the prospect.

“I’d put France above Brazil now as the best, and Thierry Henry has taken striking to another level,” he said.

“But we are not in awe and we are not scared. We will give them respect but there is no fear. We are not going to over-hype them at all.”

“Obviously our players discuss how we can beat them, and are some of their players as good as they used to be. We will show respect, but will not be afraid.”

“The manager was talking to us on Monday and was suggesting how 10 of their players could be past and present team-mates of a lot of our players, so we know them very well.”

The player they are looking out for is Thierry Henry, recently voted Footballer of the Year in England for the second year running.

“Henry has had a fantastic season. He never used to score that many goals, but now he has added everything to his game.

“There are very few weaknesses and I don’t think there is anyone else like him in the world. Owen rates Henry as the world’s best striker

“I don’t like talking about my own qualities because I’m not that type of person, but I do have qualities of my own.

“But I rate him above myself at the moment because he scored more goals than me last season and his team won the title.

“But I’m not going to over-hype France more than they deserve.

“I am so confident in the players we have got. They are more than good enough to hold their own and do more than just stop Henry and David Trezeguet, or whoever is up front for them.

“I have got total faith and confidence in our players.”