Whatever unfolds for England at the World Cup this summer, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge plans to participate in the showpiece tournament with a constant smile etched across his face.

The 24-year-old's reward for a domestic season in which he found the target 24 times in all competitions for the Reds was a place in the Three Lions' 23-man squad for the trip to Brazil.

Alongside him will be Anfield colleagues Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Glen Johnson and Raheem Sterling, as Roy Hodgson leans on the prolific 2013-14 exploits of the LFC quintet.

England's tournament kicks off with a heavyweight encounter against Italy on June 14, before their Group D challenge continues in opposition to Uruguay - and Luis Suarez - and Costa Rica.

"I'm very excited," said Sturridge. "I think players wait their whole careers to have this opportunity to go to a World Cup and I'm one of those players.

"I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the training camps just as much as playing the first game. I'm going to soak up everything and be like a sponge when I'm out there, and just take everything in.

"The senior players have been amazing with us, just as much as we're working hard and we're continuing to learn as footballers.

"It's important for me and the other players to understand that it's a great occasion and to embrace it. I don't feel there should be any form of pressure on us.

"It should be about enjoyment and about playing with smiles on our faces. I'm doing cartwheels and front-flips inside but I'm not going to show it."