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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


Roberto Martinez says Ross Barkley is a source of pride for all Evertonians following the midfielder’s inclusion in the England World Cup squad.

It was announced by Roy Hodgson on Monday that the 20-year-old will join Everton teammates Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines in the Three Lions group heading to Brazil this summer.

And Martinez believes it is deserved recognition for a player who has flown the flag for excelling young talent at the Club throughout last season.

“As you can imagine, the whole family of Evertonians are delighted,” Martinez said.

“We all know that Ross Barkley is quite a unique talent and it is pleasing to see that he has been rewarded by his call-up to the national side. But more significant is that he will have the opportunity to enjoy the World Cup.

“Ross will get the chance to lead our young talent at the Club and he is a clear example of what can be achieved by working hard at your game and enjoying football with Everton.”

Barkley has earned three England caps to date, each being appearances from the substitutes' bench in the international matches against Moldova, Chile and Germany last year.

Martinez insists the Wavertree-born man can make game-changing contributions in the World Cup in whatever role he is utilised.

“Ross brings incredible technical ability with his right and left feet,” continued the Blues boss. “He has a physicality that can break teams down on the counter-attack and he is someone that can score magical goals.

“Ross is a young player that is still developing but his character is the biggest strength that he has. He will always bring a helping hand to what is needed in the team.”

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