Famous last words? England duo question Suarez's calibre & fear factor

Luis Suarez Uruguay

England face Uruguay in a must win game in Group D on Thursday.

It looks like much of the focus of England's press conferences ahead of the nation's crunch game with Uruguay on Thursday has inevitably fallen on one opposition player.

Perhaps it is no surprise given that Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, who missed his country's shock loss to Costa Rica, has just enjoyed an outstanding year of Premier League football, scoring 31 goals for the Reds, while also continuing to hit the target for Uruguay.

However, two members of the England camp have been attempting to play down the former Ajax player on two different levels.

It may well be an attempt to avoid building the forward up to an untouchable level, but England manager and former Anfield boss Roy Hodgson questioned the player's ability to be held up as having achieved greatness, citing his absence of impressive World Cup performances as a reason he falls short of some legends of the game.

"If you are really going to put him (Suarez) 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," said Hodgson.

"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."

"He has got the potential," warned the ex Fulham manager. "He is a wonderful footballer."

Hopefully such thoughts haven't backfired into taking the 27-year-old attacker lightly, with Suarez already playing a big role in one international tournament triumph by firing Uruguay to their Copa America win in 2011, where he was voted best player.

Daniel Sturridge, Suarez's strike partner at Anfield, had already mentioned that the England camp weren't afraid of the PFA Player of the Year, telling media: "We need to negate Uruguay. It's not just about Suarez. It's a team game, not about individuals."

"I hope he's fit. We look to face the best Uruguay team to show what we can do.

"I don't think there's any fears or anxieties, we are all excited."

Only time will tell whether the Uruguayan recovers from injury to feature against Hodgson's men, and of course whether he proves to the England team that he is already a footballing great and well worth fearing.

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