Hodgson: Suarez isn't a true great... yet

The Three Lions manager says the Liverpool striker has the potential to become a true great but needs to produce his top form in Brazil to finally prove his class
England coach Roy Hodgson says Uruguay striker Luis Suarez must prove himself at the World Cup if he is to be considered one of the world’s best players.

The Liverpool forward enjoyed a sensational season with the Reds, finishing the campaign as the Premier League’s top scorer with 31 goals and scooping the PFA Player of the Year award.

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Suarez is expected to return to fitness to face England on Thursday when the two sides clash in the World Cup and Hodgson says the striker certainly has the potential to become a true great.

"I think he will only be at that level when he shows it on this particular stage,” he told reporters.

"If you are saying, 'Do I think he has got the potential? Is he a wonderful footballer? Yes, he sure is.

"But if you are really going to put him up there with Maradona, Pele, Beckenbauer and Cryuff, then you might even argue that Messi needs to have that sort of tournament to get up there with the legends of football.

"Andrea Pirlo was challenging that category. He has done it time and time again, shown what a wonderful footballer he is because this is the stage you have got to do it on really.

"Being a great player in your league will get you lots of plaudits, but for the world to recognise you are one of the all-time greats you have got to do it at the World Cup."

Uruguay go into the game on the back of a surprise 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica in their opener but Hodgson has warned his team of the quality their opponents possess.

"There's not just Luis. They have a lot of other good players, but in terms of Luis, he is a fantastic player and you've just got to deal with him like any other player on the pitch because they've got people like Cavani and Forlan, top players,” he added

"We'll look to prepare well and concentrate on Uruguay as a team.

“If we win the next two games we'll still be okay and that's what we'll look to do. We'll improve again.”