England manager Roy Hodgson has stated that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez can only be called ‘World-Class’ if he proves himself in the World Cup

Ahead of his side’s meeting with Uruguay, in a match which is an absolute must-win for both, Hodgson has said that Uruguay’s Luis Suarez can only show his class if he performs in this tournament. The ex-Switzerland boss said that Suarez has the potential to do that, but he can only be called world-class if he performs in the World Cup.

“I think he will only be at that level when he shows it on this particular stage. You can be a great player in your league but to be recognised as one of the all-time greats you have got to do it at the World Cup,” said Hodgson.

“If you are really going to put him up there with (Diego) Maradona, Pele, (Franz) Beckenbauer and (Johan) Cruyff, and (Andrea) Pirlo, this is the stage you have got to do it on,” added Hodgson, whose England side lost their opening game 2-1 to Italy.

“He has got the potential. He is a wonderful footballer.”

With the injury Suarez sustained last month, he is still a doubt starter for his side’s match against England on Thursday. Suarez has been working his way back to full fitness after undergoing knee surgery last month and was an unused substitute in Uruguay’s shock 3-1 loss to Costa Rica on Saturday.

Teammate Diego Forlan said that Suarez is desperate to play the match against England.

Every player is desperate to play every game and he’s the same,” said Forlan

 “It’s really important he plays against England. Hopefully he can train well and he can be ready for the game.”

England suffered a 2-1 defeat against Italy in their opening match and thus, Thursday’s clash becomes a do or die situation for both the countries. England captain Steven Gerrard said that England can cause Uruguay some serious problems.

“I was shocked by the result. I expected Uruguay to beat Costa Rica,” Gerrard said.

“They (Uruguay) have really good firepower up front but we saw on Saturday that they are certainly beatable. They concede goals and if we attack like we did against Italy we will cause Uruguay big, big problems.”

Gerrard added that he expected Suarez to play a role in Thursday’s match, “I’m not sure where Suarez is up to injury-wise, I haven’t heard from him, but I expect him to play some part because he’s been so quiet”

Suarez will be looking to prove that he is indeed ‘world-class’. His injury has come as a huge disappointment as the 27 year old has been in the form of his life. One thing is for sure- if he is 100% match-fit, he will be raring to go and would be able to cause Hodgson’s side some real problems.