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Hodgson Issues Rooney World Cup Challenge

  • Guardian, Friday, February 14, 2014 10:06 AM

England coach Roy Hodgson has issued a public challenge to Wayne Rooney to start reproducing his club form for England and to make sure that he lives up to his reputation on the international stage at the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The former Fulham and West Brom coach said it’s time that Rooney “exploded” on the world stage.

"Maybe once or twice in the past I think I can say without fear of contradiction that on the world stage he hasn't exploded as he has on our national stage, where we all accept him as an outstanding player," Hodgson said. "We have been together for a couple of years, we are growing slowly and there will be an opportunity for him in Brazil to show he is not just a great star in the Premier League, but a world star.”

He added: "I hope with Wayne, and certainly the message to him is: 'This is your chance. Sure, you'll be a bit tired, but so will Luis Suárez and David Luiz and various other players, because they are also playing in the Premier League and playing every game, like you.'

“He is 28, a terrific age, and this is the world stage, the perfect opportunity for him to prove to people around the world what we already know -- that he is a very, very gifted footballer, a very all-round footballer capable of playing in many positions and someone who is a leading light in his team, which is one of the best in the world. It would be nice to see him reproducing that form for England and I am confident he will."

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