Suarez may struggle to shine in Brazil, says Hodgson

The Uruguay striker enjoyed a stunning season at club level, scoring 31 goals for Liverpool, but the England boss feels he may find it difficult at the World Cup

England manager Roy Hodgson claims Luis Suarez may struggle to shine for Uruguay at this summer’s World Cup.

The two nations have been drawn together in Group D for the tournament in Brazil, and meet in the second round of fixtures on June 19.

But Hodgson feels double footballer of the year Suarez – who scored 31 Premier League goals last season to inspire Liverpool’s title challenge – could struggle without his club-mates around him.

“Suarez is my player of the year,” he told reporters. “I’m not trying to take anything away from him, he’s had a wonderful season. He’s an exceptional player, with exceptional ability.

“But he’s not alone. He won’t have at Uruguay the same players he has around him at Liverpool. So who knows? Maybe he’s less effective with Uruguay than for Liverpool.

“I think it would be a big mistake to get hung up on any individual player no matter how much you respect their ability.

“In our team talk we will focus on Uruguay as a team, the way they play, the way they attack and defend, it won’t be all about just ‘Suarez, Suarez, Suarez’. I expect our players when they go out against Uruguay to deal with Luis Suarez as if they were meeting him in a club competition.

“Our two centre-halves, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, have played against him many times. They know his strengths.

“If we are going to deal with any great player at the World Cup we will have to be well organised as a team.

“I would be very worried if we have so little faith in ourselves that when we are going to play Italy or Uruguay it’s all about Mario Balotelli this, or Suarez that.

“I would like to think our players are thinking ‘We are good too’.”

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