Walcott inspired to reach World Cup 2014 by Brazilian youngsters

The striker says there are things South American six-year-olds can do with a ball that he still can’t do now, and also wants to ensure that England return to Brazil next year
Theo Walcott is determined to help England qualify for the 2014 World Cup after being inspired by children ahead of a friendly clash against Brazil.

Walcott is set to start up front on Sunday night as England struggle with a host of injury problems in attack.

The 24-year-old is looking forward to the prospect of returning to Rio next summer, and says England need to do a professional job at the Maracana ahead of a vital period which will determine qualification for the tournament.

Walcott told reporters: "Seeing some of the kids who were six or seven using their shoulders to play beach volley was amazing. I can't do that so it showed that technically they have got it here.

"It is going to be spectacular just to be out here in Brazil itself and to experience different parts of Brazil. Hopefully we can come out here again and show our stuff on the pitch. First of all we have to do the job on Sunday.

"As soon as you come here you realise just what a football place it is. Football is massive in Brazil, like everywhere else, and we definitely want to be part of it next year."

Walcott is expecting a completely different test from Brazil to the one faced in the 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday, and acknowledged England must perform at a higher level.

"Technically Brazil are better than Ireland," Walcott continued.

"Going forward we have some tough qualifying matches but we want to be here next year - no doubt about it. It wouldn't be right if we weren't here.

"We all know our job and what we need to do now. The performance has to be slightly better but I didn't think it was the end of the world the other day."