The World Cup provides a wonderful opportunity to go from relative obscurity, to all-time national hero in a month.
Geoff Hurst is a prime example of seizing that opportunity. The script was written for the great Jimmy Greaves to take on the world but it turned out quite differently, when Hurst scored his hat-trick in the Final against the mighty West Germans in 1966.
Roger Milla, although a national hero, could hardly be described as a world class striker, prior to his heroics for Cameroon at Italia ’90. His goals and famous celebrations have made him a football icon. There are others such as Salvatore Schillaci and Miroslav Klose who introduced themselves to the world stage with a bang.
Below are our top 5 potential English world beaters in this year’s finals in Brazil.
5. Raheem Sterling
Yet to score for England, but the nippy wide man has found the mark nine times in 31 appearances in the Premier League this season. He could lift the nation with his late runs on the back post and quick breaks. An outsider, maybe, but given the chance and the freedom, Sterling could be the man.
4. Adam Lallana
Clever, tricky, creative. Lallana’s quick feet may be too much for World Cup defences and he may be able to carve his name into football folklore with a world beating finals. No England goals yet, but now could be the time.
3. Danny Welbeck
A proven international goalscorer with eight goals in 21 England appearances, Welbeck has suffered from often being second choice for Manchester United and England, but he is hardworking with nine Premier League goals this season. Danny could be a world star in waiting.
2. Andy Carroll
The big Geordie could prove to be big enough, good enough in the air and globally unknown enough to be untouchable in Brazil. Miroslav Klose showed the way, scoring five headed goals in 2002. Carroll is unusual and unorthodox. Our defenders are used to him in the Premier League, but that may not be the case in Brazil.
1. Daniel Sturridge
What a season he has had. He has developed into a goal machine in the Premier League which if translated to the language of the World Cup, Sturridge could be one of the most famous players in the world by the end of July. His time at Chelsea and Manchester City, where he feels he was under-rated as a striker, seems to be propelling him on. 34 goals in 47 Liverpool appearances seem to be only the beginning for this hungry striker. Let us see if it has all just been a rehearsal for the biggest stage of all.
Whoever it is, someone needs to come up with four or five goals which could get England to at least the semi-finals. The rewards are massive, the task is steep, but the opportunity is there.
Just ask Geoff.
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