Danny Welbeck hopes a successful 2013/14 season with Manchester United will help him realise his dream of representing England at next summer's FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Reds striker once idolised Samba stars Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho as a teenager playing in the street, and having starred for the Three Lions in recent years, is excited to travel to their homeland for the most grandiose tournament in football.
However, two obstacles stand in his way. Firstly, England still need to progress from an increasingly difficult qualifying stage and secondly, the Longsight lad must earn his seat on the plane by excelling for United under new manager David Moyes.
“It is vital that we qualify for Brazil,” Danny explains. “It is a stage everyone wants to be at and every footballer wants to be in a World Cup. No one wants to miss out.
“My England career is coming along pretty well and I have coped with the step up in international football. Obviously it helps playing at United, where there is always going to be pressure. But you can’t afford to look back. My view is once one game has gone you look to the next one.
“I want to make sure I stake a strong claim to be vying for a striker’s role at the World Cup and to do that I know I need to have a good Premier League season first. I need to be playing regularly for United, scoring goals and playing consistently.”
As Welbeck acknowledges, scoring goals is absolutely pivotal and having only converted twice during the last campaign, he is more than aware that his tally must improve next term.
But rather than shying away from the matter, perhaps by referencing the fact he played as a winger for much of last season, the United forward is