Sturridge – no cheating please, we’re English

HAVING A LAUGH: Daniel Sturridge shares a joke during England’s press conference in Rio yesterday

HAVING A LAUGH: Daniel Sturridge shares a joke during England’s press conference in Rio yesterday

First published in Sport
Last updated

DANIEL STURRIDGE would never go down the same route as Luis Suarez and handball a goalbound shot in a World Cup.

Suarez and Sturridge have enjoyed a successful partnership at Anfield this season, scoring 48 goals between them to take Liverpool within a whisker of the Premier League title.

But on Thursday Liverpool’s two front men will be enemies when they line up against each other for the Group D match between the two nations in Sao Paulo.

Suarez caused controversy at the last World Cup when he stopped a goalbound shot on the line in Uruguay’s quarter-final match against Ghana.

He was sent off, but Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty and Uruguay eventually went through.

Sturridge is determined to beat Uruguay on Thursday, but unlike Suarez did four years ago, he will not break the rules to help his team.

“I’m going to do anything in my power to win this game, provided it’s within the rules of the game,” the England striker said.

“But I’m not going to dive and I’m not going to handball a goal shot because it’s not in my nature.”

It is doubtful that Sturridge meant his comments as a dig against his Liverpool team-mate, but the message was clear – England will not seek an advantage via illegal means on Thursday.

“We’re an honest country and go about our business in an honest way,” Sturridge added.

“No disrespect to other countries. But we play the game within the laws of the game. We don’t bend the rules. We play by the book.

“There’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve gone a long way doing that, from 1966 when we won the World Cup, playing within the laws.

“That’s how I was brought up. We don’t like to cheat to win. We want to play in an honest way.”

Sturridge only has one World Cup appearance under his belt, but the game against Italy, and his goal, has made him hungry for more.

The Liverpool striker cannot bear the thought of going home early from the tournament.

And for that reason, he insists England must win against Uruguay on Thursday.

“It’s do or die,” he said. “I’m hungry, I’m confident, and I’m so happy to go out there.

“Do we want to go home? No.

“I want to win this World Cup like everyone back there does. I’d be gutted to go out.

I’d be devastated to go out in the group stage.

“When I was a kid I always said I’d love to score a goal in a World Cup so I’m living my dream.”

Sturridge made the step up to World Cup football look easy on Saturday as he starred for England in the 2-1 defeat to Italy.

The former Chelsea and Manchester City man got himself into the perfect position to turn Wayne Rooney’s cross home in the first half and he caused the opposition defence problems all night.

Sturridge marked his goal with his now customary celebration – a joyful jig that involves him wiggling both his arms up in the air simultaneously.

Sturridge revealed he came up with the celebration after he moved to Liverpool from Chelsea, where he was annoyed at being played out of position.

“It symbolises a change in my life, the moment I moved to Liverpool when things completely changed and my life changed ever since,” Sturridge explained.

“It was a bit of fun and it still is. I don’t take myself seriously on or off the pitch, but it symbolises a change in my life.”

Gary Lewin’s celebration of Sturridge’s goal did not go so well.

The England physio broke his ankle after falling over in the technical area immediately after England’s only goal in the Arena Amazonia.

Sturridge said: “I saw someone on the floor over there by the bench, thinking: ‘What’s going on over there?’ “Then I saw Gary Lewin was down, and I was like: ‘He stole my moment! I was trying to do my thing..!

“I hope he’s well. He has had an operation, and we all wish him well.”

Meanwhile, Suarez says he is completely fit and ready to expose England’s “defensive deficiencies” in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

“I know all the players in the England squad, I know some of them because they are team-mates or rivals,” Suarez was quoted as saying by Uruguayan website ovaciondigital.com.

“They have defensive deficiencies and we can take advantage of them.”

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