Everton midfielder Ross Barkley 'could shine in Brazil' for England at World Cup 2014, claims Roberto Martinez
The youngster scored a fine free-kick at the weekend to ensure Everton beat Swansea
Monday 23 December 2013
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has no doubt Ross Barkley could shine for England at next year's World Cup.
Martinez is convinced the 20-year-old would be mentally ready if called upon for Brazil, although he has again warned against the dangers of overburdening him with expectation.
Martinez has been careful not to overhype the highly-rated youngster throughout his strong start to the season.
But, as Barkley continues to excel, containing the mounting excitement levels outside the club is becoming increasingly difficult.
The talented Barkley further enhanced his reputation by scoring Everton's winner at Swansea on Sunday with a superb free-kick.
Having already won three caps for England this term, the clamour for him to be part of Roy Hodgson's squad for Brazil is growing.
Martinez said: "We always do that when we see an outstanding young man enjoying his football - we always feel they are now ready to win the World Cup. We need to be careful.
"Ross is showing that he is growing, developing. He keeps surprising everyone because he is capable of doing anything on a football pitch.
"Technically he is one of the most gifted English footballers you will ever see - right and left - his potential is huge.
"He is an ambitious boy and he is a joy to work with. I am proud and honoured to see his development.
"As a player all you need to do is keep developing, keep working hard and enjoying your football.
"At the end of the season Ross will be ready for whatever his role is going to be with England.
"If it is not this time, I am sure it will be in the future.
"He has got the potential to help the nation but we need to be a little bit aware that he is a young man and is still developing.
"If Ross is to have a massive role with the national team, nothing would faze him. He has got that mentality and has got an incredible football personality.
"He can take anything that comes his way but his focus is just to be as good as he can be for our team. That is the only way you can prepare for your international career."
Barkley struck with six minutes remaining at the Liberty Stadium to secure a 2-1 win.
Everton had led through a long-range Seamus Coleman strike after 66 minutes but Swansea had responded to force an equaliser through a Bryan Oviedo own goal.
The victory kept Everton firmly in contention at the top end of the Barclays Premier League after 10 games unbeaten.
Barkley's winner was his third goal of the season and capped another fine all-round display.
Barkley was tipped for stardom from a young age and first appeared on an Everton bench as long ago as September 2010, when he was just 16.
But his progress was halted by an horrific triple leg-break and there were long spells in the reserves and loans at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds before he seized his chance this term.
Martinez believes coming through such experiences proves Barkley has the temperament to go right to the top.
He said: "I think Ross has been through such a long journey to get where he is.
"He is not someone that doesn't appreciate the day-to-day. He knows the moment he drops his standards it will be very tough for him to get in the team.
"He is someone that has had a terrific education with the experiences he has had. He is well equipped to do a good job on the pitch.
"Whatever comes will be welcome. If he is not involved in the World Cup I will be happy because he is a young man and is going to be able to relax in the summer.
"If he is involved it is a unique experience that he can take a lot from. Whatever comes he will be ready for it."
Barkley grabbed the limelight at Swansea as regular free-kick specialist Leighton Baines was still out injured.
"All the top players get guided by instincts and Ross had the feeling he wanted to take the free-kick and he wanted to score," said Martinez.
"He felt it was his moment and he took his moment."
Left-back Baines is expected to be back in contention for the Boxing Day clash with Sunderland after a month out with a broken toe.
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