• England

Sturridge can outshine Ronaldo - Gerrard

ESPN staff
March 7, 2014
Sturridge praises great night for Liverpool and England

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool and England team-mate Daniel Sturridge can be the star of the summer's World Cup.

Sturridge scored the winner for England in their friendly win over Denmark on Wednesday - his 23rd goal in 28 games for club and country this season - and Gerrard says he deserves to be ranked up there alongside fellow Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Daniel's got the world at his feet and can be whatever he wants to be if he keeps working hard," Gerrard told The Sun.

Sterling will not be bullied - Hodgson

Raheem Sterling was awarded man of the match against Denmark © PA Photos
  • England manager Roy Hodgson believes Raheem Sterling is a much stronger player than the one who made his England debut 16 months ago. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: "When I gave him his debut he had incredible balance, but when he was a 15-year-old and he was playing against men, sometimes he could get knocked off the ball.
  • "It has taken him a couple of years but now he has built up that strength and nous. Now you see something quite different.
  • "He's a player who you would do well not to misjudge in terms of his strength.
  • "He still has the balance and strength to go by people but don't think you will bully him and knock him off the ball.
  • "In the first half he made a couple of incredible challenges."

"His form has been scintillating this season and watching him close up in training, I see what qualities he's got.

"Everyone will be looking for Suarez, Ronaldo, the usual suspects to stand up and be the star of the tournament, but Daniel is certainly capable of starring at this World Cup.

"With the emergence of people like Raheem Sterling, Sturridge, Andros Townsend, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, players are coming to the party each week showing that they're big talents for their clubs.

"What we need now is to get them to gel and for it to happen for England at a major tournament.

"The key is to click for a run of games in a short space of time. If we can do that, I believe we can have a successful tournament."

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy on June 14, before taking on Uruguay five days later and Costa Rica on June 24.

But it is the second game Gerrard has an eye on, when he comes face-to-face with close friend Suarez.

He added: "I'd rather play on the same team as him, of course I would. He's a world-class player and I know his strengths and his very few weaknesses.

"When players are your team-mates, you protect them and do everything to win together - but we both know that when the whistle goes against Uruguay the friendship goes out of the window and we both fight for our countries.

"I can't speak highly enough of Luis though, for me he's one of the top five players in the world."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close