England boss lays down challenge to Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez

Basingstoke Gazette: Luis Suarez Luis Suarez

Roy Hodgson thinks ex-Saints star Rickie Lambert's Liverppol teammate Luis Suarez has a lot to prove before he can be considered a truly world class player.

Uruguay and Liverpool striker Suarez is expected to recover from a knee injury in time to face England in Thursday's crunch match in Sao Paulo.

He has been castigated for racist comments and biting other players in the past, but this year Suarez has enjoyed a season free of controversy and full of goals.

Suarez scored 27 times this year to bring Liverpool within a whisker of ending their 24-year wait for the league title.

There was many a stunning effort in that haul, but for Hodgson, a player has only proven himself when he lights up a World Cup.

When asked whether Suarez belonged in the same "world-class" bracket as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the England manager said: "I think he will only be at that level when he shows it on this particular stage.

"He has got the potential. He is he a wonderful footballer.

"But if you are really going to put him up there with (Diego) Maradona, Pele, (Franz) Beckenbauer and (Johan) Cruyff, and (Andrea) Pirlo, this is the stage you have got to do it on really.

"You can be a great player in your league but for the world to recognise you are one of the all-time greats you have got to do it at the World Cup."

Hodgson is hopeful that ex-Saint Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will take some part in training this week after he continued to make good progress in his recover from a knee injury.

"He might be fit for Uruguay. He will be very close," the England boss said.

Comments (4)

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7:48am Mon 16 Jun 14

Seedhouse the Unrepentant says...

So what about the bloke you keep picking then Roy? The one that's never scored in a World Cup.
So what about the bloke you keep picking then Roy? The one that's never scored in a World Cup. Seedhouse the Unrepentant
  • Score: 7

9:16am Mon 16 Jun 14

costa gaz says...

I seriously think he has lost the plot.... Suarez not world class !!!!!!!!!!!!
What a ridiculous thing to say from a, supposedly, top football manager

Seed, I am sure he thinks that Rooney is a better player than Suarez?
I seriously think he has lost the plot.... Suarez not world class !!!!!!!!!!!! What a ridiculous thing to say from a, supposedly, top football manager Seed, I am sure he thinks that Rooney is a better player than Suarez? costa gaz
  • Score: 5

10:15am Mon 16 Jun 14

pemcil says...

I fear Roy will be the one taught a lesson about what it means to be world class
I fear Roy will be the one taught a lesson about what it means to be world class pemcil
  • Score: 4

1:37pm Mon 16 Jun 14

smuggins says...

So Rickie who has yet to make an appearance in the Skinterpool team is now Suarez's team mate.Roy is away with the fairies.If Suarez goes to RM it may never happen.
So Rickie who has yet to make an appearance in the Skinterpool team is now Suarez's team mate.Roy is away with the fairies.If Suarez goes to RM it may never happen. smuggins
  • Score: 0

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