'Late bloomer' Wondolowski relishing World Cup chance

United States striker Chris Wondolowski is hoping to grasp his FIFA World Cup opportunity after making a late break into the national set-up.

The San Jose Earthquakes man did not make his international debut until 2011 and will be appearing in his first World Cup in Brazil at the age of 31.

But, after a promising CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign last year, Wondolowski is keen to make an impression on the biggest stage of all.

"You get older and older and you start to wonder if your chance will ever come," he told FIFA.com. "I was a late bloomer and there were times when I thought my opportunity had passed.

"I've grown as a player since the Gold Cup. I’ve had to step up my game and push myself.

"I'm not the fastest, I'm not the strongest, and I'm not the most technical player. As a striker, I have to be able to score. Ultimately, that’s how I'll be judged."

Wondolowski's journey to the World Cup began when the tournament took place in his homeland 1994 and he and his friends went to watch some of their footballing heroes train.

"Me and my friends went to watch Brazil practice," he said. "We watched through a hole in the fence and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.

"I remember Romario's goal against Sweden, the final, the penalties. I remember thinking: I want this."