The coming club season will be extremely important for several players on the cusp of making it into the international team. The summer of 2014 will see the biggest football tournament in the world – FIFA World Cup – held in Brazil. Manchester City defender Micah Richards was spoken one of the next big things from England, but the defender has struggled to make an impression at the international level. However, he is hoping that 2014 will prove to be his year and he can make it into the England squad for the World Cup ahead of competition that includes the likes of Kyle Walker and Glen Johnson.
Richards was once linked with a £ 20 million move to Chelsea, but the impressive form of Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta has made it extremely difficult for him to get game time at City. Since making his international appearance in 2006, Richards has made 13 appearances for the England national team. He has been overlooked by former manager Fabio Capello, while the situation has not improved in the current manager Roy Hodgson as well. The 24-year-old reckons that he has a good chance of making it into the England squad if he gets regular game time at City next season.
“Hopefully next season I will be injury-free and I can show everyone what I can do. It’s a big challenge and it’s a World Cup year. Every Englishman wants to be there. I look at my competition there and, in all honesty, I don’t see players better than me. I feel I am good enough to be around that set-up. It is about being given a chance. He (Hodgson) had a hard decision to make in the summer when Johnson was playing fantastic,” said Richards, who has suffered a number of injury problems this season.
Liverpool’s January signing from Inter Milan – Philippe Coutinho – has said that he desperately wants to play for Brazil at the World Cup 2014, which will be held at the South American country. The Brazilian arrived in an £ 8 million deal from Inter Milan in January. He has been impressive in his few appearances for Liverpool so far. Now, the midfielder is hoping that this good run of form will help him get into the national team. The attacking midfielder last made an international appearance back in 2010, which also happens to be his first appearance as well.
Brazil will be hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and there is extreme pressure on the South American nation to win this tournament. The five-time world champions always face a lot of pressure when it comes to major tournaments like the World Cup and the Copa America. The pressure this time around will be significantly greater since the tournament will be at home. Coutinho has said that it is the dream of every Brazilian player to represent his national team at the World Cup. He is also inspired by the achievements of previous great Brazilians like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. Coutinho is hoping to strike a partnership with the fellow South American Luis Suarez.
“It was an honour for me when I was called up the first time. At the moment my aim is to play well for Liverpool and to learn and develop as much as I can. But I am sure if I play consistently well for Liverpool then the Brazil coach will notice me and I’ll be called up for the national team. Every player has a dream to play for their national team and especially in a World Cup. The fact the next World Cup is in Brazil makes that extra special,” said Coutinho.