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Exclusive: Sir Geoff Hurst on the 2010 World Cup

picture by Todd Halfpenny

A couple of days ago Aboutaball had the opportunity to meet-up with Sir Geoff Hurst for a chat; you can hear the full podcast here Geoff Hurst Interview podcast. We couldn’t pass up the chance to talk to a Football legend who is still heavily involved in the English game to get his take on World Cup’s past, present and future. In the first of three posts we discuss the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, England, Brazil and Messi.

Firstly we asked the obvious, who is his World Cup pick?

“Brazil, they’re never far away, it’s a huge country, great support, great pedigree and still producing players. We (England) don’t produce as many so don’t have the depth.”

How can you argue with that, bookies have Brazil down as 5/1 second favorites. When asked who he’d punt for next?

“Spain had a good Euro’s so they up there”

Spain are the 9/2 favorites for the World Cup, however Geoff agreed Spain will probably suffer from key players being tired/injured after a hard season in England.

“Foreign players in our league are now subject to the same stresses we have, players in Spain have a winter break and maybe don’t play at such a high tempo”

It’ll be interesting to see how the top Premier League star do compared to their counterparts in Spain. A less demanding schedule may need to be looked into if England want any hope of winning future World Cups.

We then asked something he knows a lot about, scoring goals, who’s most likely to get the Golden Boot?

“Messi I would think.”

Chance of a Messi World Cup final Hattrick?

“No. There’s a chance but records show in 44 years nobody’s done it.”

On Argentina and Messi…

“I’ve spoken to Ossie Ardiles, he’s not hopeful about the Argentine side. They don’t provide the unit to give Messi the platform that Barcelona does. Even the Great Messi isn’t a one man band”

So Messi is already a Great, this is high praise from someone who was a great player himself

“He’s a World Class player one of the greats.”

Asked to go for a Dark Horse?

“An African side maybe”

And on England’s chances?

“I believe we’ll do well. I’d be
disappointed in Capello’s management and discipline if we didn’t make the Semi finals. The draw has been kind to us.’

On us having no fighting fit centre backs…

“It’s a concern, you rarely pick players not 100% fit, Ledley King only plays every other game but under the circumstances there’s a case to take him. Especially as Capello has mentioned he may play with 3 centre backs, 2 attacking full backs and flood the midfield due to a lack of a holding player”

and surprisingly…

“Martin Peters made the point he’s played more games than Rio. Twice the number of games and it’s better to have someone to play the odd game than someone not good enough. Spurs players have been noticed because the club has done so well in the run in”

On Carragher…

“Maybe he’s matured and thinks that England are better places under the current management. It’s always disappointing when people don’t want to play for England. He should be in the squad, he’s a great character and can fill in at full back.”

Geoff is off to South Africa for the opening ceremony, opening game and England’s first match, thanks to McDonalds.

We’d like to thank the Royal mint for making the interview possible,  Geoff Hurst is currently working with them to raise awareness of the 150,000 limited edition World Cup Medal giveaway. To show your support for the England team and claim your free (+ £1 p&p) World Cup Medal visit and get your Medal while stocks last.

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