Donovan: USA will beat England - and Johnny Depp will play me in the film they make of it!
Published 23:00 09/06/10 By Simon Bird
Landon Donovan is so confident of victory against England that he wants heart-throb Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp to play him in a film remake of the match.
The cocky USA and former Everton midfielder says Saturday's clash is "like a World Cup final" to the casual fan back home after six months of anticipation.
He has also banned LA Galaxy team mate David Beckham from contacting him saying: "He's a spy."
And the 28-year-old says he has no worries about performing... because he's so well prepared he claims it's a cert that he'll have a good game.
The USA are hoping for a famous victory in Rustenburg on a par with the nation's 1-0 win over England in 1950, which saw a film The Game of their Lives being shot to commemorate the match known as the Miracle on Grass.
Donovan was asked if he'd love a remake if the USA win and said: "Who'd play me in the movie....I like Jonny Depp! It is hard for me as a competitor to let my mind go there and think about beating England. I understand what this game means.
"I know the qualities I have as an athlete but I was not prepared in Germany in 2006. When you are this prepared, as prepared as we are now for this tournament, you don't worry about how it will go on Saturday. I know I will play well."
Donovan says his famous spat with Beckham, when he criticised his start at LA Galaxy, is "over" but added: "I have not spoken to him. He is a spy. He can't speak to me this week!
"We know what this game means back home. It has been all about USA v England for six months. If you were a casual fan you might think this is the World Cup final."
Donovan is the USA's record scorer with 42 goals and has been lauded as the country's greatest player, but establishing himself as a superstar outside America has been more problematic.
He puts his failure to succeed in Germany down to being surrounded by sycophants would tell him how great he'd played, even if it wasn't true and says his ego kept getting in the way of his football.
Two goals in seven starts and seven sub appearances for Everton made him a hit on loan at Goodison Park last season and it was a spell he reckons will help him shoot down Fabio Capello's men.
He said: "In my opinion, England are one of the top teams in the world and top teams don't have any weaknesses. It would be hard for me to point anywhere and find a weakness in their team.
"My experience at Everton was valuable in lots of ways. Playing against men we will face on Saturday and getting to know their league, and their style. All of that is beneficial. It won't have a huge impact on the game, but it makes it more comfortable."
Donovan, whose innocuous tackle broke Ashley Cole's foot back in February, says he hasn't spoken to the England left back to apologise, but added: "Ashley is a fantastic player, one of the top two or three left backs in the world and he will be a very good player for them."
His relationship with Beckham appears to have thawed and hinting at his initial reservations about his start in the MLS Donovan added: "He has been terrific in every way. Initially it was difficult for him to understand the way the game is played in our country.
"Before the injury he was a big part of our team's success. Off the field is equally clear. He has single-handedly brought an awareness that wasn't there before. He could have done that by just being there but he he puts a lot of effort in to growing our game in our country and we all appreciate that."
Donovan was FIFA's young player of the tournament in Japan and South Korea eight years ago. "I am not young any more! But I have worked at my weakness. Tactically you learn things from experience. Looking back now 2002 to that player, mentally I am a completely different person. Being young and not knowing anything can be positive and it was in 2002.
"Now I strive to keep that youthfulness when I play mixed with my experience. The best way to describe it is 2002 I played from my heart and went for it. Now I play from the heart mixing in with my experience so as not to do something stupid."
Asked about a potential return to the Goodison Park next season he said: "I will worry about that after the World Cup."