Rooney tipped to be top star in World Cup
ENGLAND skipper Steven Gerrard has tipped Wayne Rooney to become the biggest star of the 2010 World Cup.
That’s quite some statement with hot talents like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and a galaxy of Spanish stars all set to shine in South Africa.
But Gerrard is adamant his fellow Scouser can take the world by storm, just like Pele back in 1970 and Diego Maradona 16 years later.
“He is in a position to do that,” said Gerrard. “Wayne’s confidence is sky high. Physically he is in great shape and is coming off the back of an unbelievable season, probably his best.
“He is in the category of the best players and the stage is set for him to deliver because he can be England’s main man and he can shoot us to glory, and the players around him make sure he’s aware of it.”
Maradona is the obvious example of someone who had a dark side to his character. No-one could accuse Rooney of even getting close to approaching the current Argentina coach’s many excesses.
But there is undoubtedly a combustible element to his game that remains despite the hard work he has put in trying to curb it.
It came to the fore again in Monday’s practice match against the Platinum Stars when he was yellow-carded for a foul-mouthed blast at the referee, but Gerrard can see no requirement for Rooney to reproach himself.
“People talk about the yellow card he got the other day but that is Wayne Rooney,” continued Gerrard (below). “He is always on the edge. He has got that fire in his belly.
“I know Wayne. I know about his upbringing and his background. We have a good understanding on the pitch because we are quite close off it. “If Wayne channels his frustrations in the right way he can be one of the players of this tournament.”
READY TO SHINE: Wayne Rooney can be the biggest star.