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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Vassell still not given up on World Cup

Manchester City striker Darius Vassell insists he is ready for an England recall - and prepared to put off essential surgery to go to the World Cup.

The 25-year-old has six goals in 22 England appearances, but his last match for Sven-Goran Eriksson's side was as substitute in the Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat to Portugal.

He has struck nine goals for City this season but requires a hernia operation in the summer.

Vassell told the Sunday Mirror: 'I haven't lost hope about playing for England again - and if the call came for the World Cup I would put off the hernia operation and go.

'At the moment it seems I'm not in Mr Eriksson's thoughts. But it's still nice to hear that he says good things about me, and I would be willing to put myself on the line if he wanted me in Germany.'