Hodgson: England will be on song

  • Last Updated: June 2 2014, 9:21 BST

Roy Hodgson has promised that his England players will be singing the national anthem loud and proud in Brazil.

Roy Hodgson: 'We are happy to be wearing that England shirt'
Roy Hodgson: 'We are happy to be wearing that England shirt'

For years, England's footballers have been criticised for not singing God Save The Queen with as much passion as their compatriots in other sports, most notably rugby.

Some other footballing nations have always been more keen on belting out their respective national anthems than England too.

Wayne Rooney did not sing the national anthem at the start of his England career while Gary Neville, now an England coach, refused to join in as he said he preferred "focusing on the match" instead.

But Hodgson, who is two years into his reign as England boss, is adamant that his England team should sing prior to kick-off.

"You very rarely play an international match against opponents and they haven't got their hands on their hearts and singing their anthem as loud as they can, and we've made a decision that that's what we're going to do, too because we are proud, we are happy to be wearing that England shirt," the England manager said.

"We have been doing it for two years. We are proud to be England players, and in my case, England manager, so when the national anthem comes up it's an obvious one for me that we sing it."

Given that Hodgson's 23-man World Cup squad contains 12 players who were not part of Euro 2012, the England manager will issue a reminder to his party for Brazil that they must sing the song this summer.

"Perhaps we need to remind them as the squad has changed so much," the 66-year-old said.

"I hope they will.

"I think we're great until the second verse comes along because we don't really know that," he added with a smile.

After warm-up games against Ecuador and Honduras in Miami, England will take on Italy in their World Cup opener in Manaus on June 14.

They could come up against a familiar face in the Amazon - that of Italy striker Mario Balotelli, who spent two and a half eventful years at Manchester City before departing for AC Milan in January 2013.

The controversial 23-year-old is on the fringes of Cesare Prandelli's team, but Hodgson is unsure whether Balotelli - whom he likes - will play against England.

"He's obviously a very good player, a very skilful player, but it's Prandelli's decision," the Three Lions boss added. "We admire him as a player and respect his talent."