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James Milner: Rio trip has inspired England to reach World Cup

James Milner has insisted that England’s recent trip to Brazil has motivated them to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

England drew 2-2 with the South American side at the Maracana on Sunday, after conceding the lead with only eight minutes to go.

Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney looked to have the game tied up but Paulinho’s late volley left them short of a dramatic victory.

Manchester City midfielder Milner played the full 90 minutes, providing the assist for Rooney’s goal.

And he admits that the experience has given him and his team-mates added impetus in their bid to book a return journey next year.

He said: “Experiencing Rio has helped us massively. We are all desperate to finish the job and qualify for the World Cup.

“You don’t get too many chances to play in World Cups, but playing a World Cup in Brazil… just being here for the last few days, I have seen the love they have for the game.

“They play head tennis and beach football every single day. You can sense the love and the atmosphere in the ground, it’s going to be some tournament next year.

“If you don’t want to play in a World Cup in Brazil after the last few days then you never will.”

England are currently second in their World Cup qualifying group, and face tricky fixtures against Molodova and Ukraine in September before a meeting with leaders Montenegro.

Mon 3 Jun, 2013
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