Interview: Chris Kamara On England Winning Their World Cup Group, Rooney’s Importance, And His Pick For The Trophy

With the Brazil World Cup kicking off tomorrow evening, we spoke to former First Division player and current Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara about England’s chances in the tournament. 

What can we expect from England in the World Cup this summer?

“I think we will win the group. I think we will beat Italy in the first game and have a bit of fun for a change instead of biting our nails. I am quietly confident about that happening.

“It’s a case of fingers crossed after that.”

Wayne Rooney has come under a lot of criticism for his international performances lately – how important do you think he is to England?

“I think the opposition would get a lift if he wasn’t in the starting 11 because he is a player that can do something out of nothing.

“I think he wants to make a name for himself this summer. He scored a magnificent goal at the Maracana last year and the whole stadium stood up and clapped. I think he will take something from that and use his experience to prove a point this summer.”

Another talking point was Hodgson opting for Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw, leaving Ashley Cole at home. What do you make of that decision?

“In my opinion, Cole is a better defender than both of them. I thought he performed well when he played for Chelsea last season, but the fact that Cesar Azpilicueta was first choice suggests that Mourinho thought that he was past his best.

“It didn’t show in my opinion, but you have to respect that decision because Mourinho sees him every day in training.”

“I would have gone with the best defender, because if Hodgson is playing the fluid formation where the attacker can go where he wants, you need insurance at the back. Johnson likes to go forward, Cahill and Jagielka are good but they’re not great, so it would have been nice to have that bit of insurance. But it wasn’t to be.”

Last question, who is your pick to win the World Cup?

“The Brazilians have got an opportunity to  make themselves legends. It’s in their own country and can make a name for themselves.

“There have been protests about the World Cup and the money that has been spent because they have not helped the poorer communities. It happened in South Africa too. When it kicks off though the country will be behind their players, because they can’t do anything to stop it.

“Brazil.”

The Strongbow Rio Challenge is the latest in a series of sporting challenges launched in 2013 as part of the brand’s ‘EARN IT.’  marketing campaign. To date, the challenges have seen a club cricketer successfully face an over from England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson and a Sunday morning footballer beating a German international goalkeeper from the penalty spot in the Olympic Stadium, Berlin. Visit www.strongbow.com for more information about the Strongbow Challenges.

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