Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We're Only in It to Win It ( Rio

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We're Only in It to Win It ( Rio

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Rio Ferdinand has responded to England's rising World Cup expectations by insisting that a quarter-final defeat by Portugal would represent the biggest failure of his career.

Rather than wilting under the ever-increasing pressure in Germany, Ferdinand claimed last night that he relishes the chance to play football in such an unforgiving atmosphere.

In fact, while Ashley Cole has hinted this week that he is finding it difficult to enjoy the tournament because of the constant pressure, Ferdinand has even attempted to add to it by suggesting that only a World Cup final appearance would be considered a success for a side that has not reached a semi-final since 1990.

Ferdinand was part of the team which was knocked out by Brazil in the quarter-finals in Japan and South Korea four years ago. But even the knowledge they lost to the eventual winners is of no comfort to the Manchester United centre-half.

He said: "I know some people have said that now we've reached the quarter-final there is less pressure on us because that was the minimum requirement before we started the World Cup. I can see where they are coming from but I disagree.

"If we do anything less than get to the final that would be a massive disappointment for me. Nobody comes to a World Cup just to get to the quarter-finals.

"I've been in the quarter-finals at a World Cup before and it means absolutely nothing, no matter who you lose to. Only getting to the last eight of this tournament would be a failure. The only way we can really call this tournament a successful one is if we get our hands on the trophy in Berlin. If you lose in a quarter-final you just feel dumbfounded, I can still remember that feeling after the Brazil game (in 2002) and I don't want it again here.

"We want to give a good account of ourselves. …

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