• World Cup

Cross the ball and I will score - Fellaini

ESPN staff
June 18, 2014
Belgium's Marouane Fellaini, right, battles for the ball with Algeria's Medhi Lacen © Getty Images

Marouane Fellaini has backed himself to have an impact in Brazil, declaring that he will score goals so long as team-mates provide the crosses.

Fellaini put a poor first season at Manchester United behind him to score the first goal for Belgium as they fought back to defeat Algeria 2-1 in World Cup Group H on Tuesday, with the midfielder capitalising on the tactic for which former United manager David Moyes was heavily criticised last term.

"I always believe and I thought that, yes, if the coach gives me the call, I can help us win this match," said Fellaini, who was Moyes' only big-money signing last summer. "'One thing I know is that if my team-mates put crosses in the box for me, I can score goals.

"Three times the ball came in for me and every time I won the header - I could have had a hat-trick. I'm just glad that one went in though because we were beginning to run out of time, and it was important we took one of our chances."

United under Moyes were likened to a Conference side by Fulham's Dan Burn after their 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in February, with the defender joking that he had not headed away so many crosses since his days playing non-league football for Darlington. It didn't pay dividends for Fellaini but he is enjoying capitalising on Belgium's direct style of play under head coach Marc Wilmots.

"I think we got what we deserved," Fellaini said. "We started very nervously and played badly in the first half. But I think you saw the character of this team in the second half. We just needed to stay calm, make the right decisions, and doing that got us this fantastic result."

Fellaini made little impact at Old Trafford following his £27.5 million move from Everton and the former Premier League champions are understood to be willing to off-load him for a cut-price fee this summer. Wilmots however, predicted that the World Cup would be the perfect opportunity for Fellaini to show United fans what they would be missing.

"I hope he's right," Fellaini said when reminded of Wilmots' words. "I've definitely been looking forward to this tournament. It's my first World Cup and it's amazing to be part of it all.

"Every player in the world wants to be here, so I appreciate this opportunity very much. I just want to make the most of it now."

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