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European Qualifiers Group E

Bullish Rooney: 'I'm ready'

Wayne Rooney has bullishly declared: "I don't care what anyone says, I'm ready for this World Cup."

Last Updated: 17/06/14 at 14:58 Post Comment

Wayne Rooney: Ready for World Cup action

Wayne Rooney: Ready for World Cup action

The Manchester United striker has fallen under increasing scrutiny in the build-up to the tournament, with former team-mate Phil Neville describing debate over his fitness as a "witch-hunt".

The 28-year-old’s place in Roy Hodgson’s team has been questioned, with youngsters Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley all pushing for places among the forwards.

But, addressing the media in Rio de Janeiro three days before England’s Group D opener against Italy, Rooney hit back at his critics.

“I don’t care about what anyone says. I’m ready for this World Cup. I’m focused and I feel I’ve still got a massive role to play in this team," he said.

“Of course there is competition for places, there always is playing for your country, but I’m ready for that and I’m not worried about anything. There is so much ability and it’s a joy to be a part of.

“I feel great. I feel 100% fit and ready for the tournament. I’m not going to sit here and say ‘expect this, expect that’ from me, I know how these tournaments work, but I will give my best for the team.”

Rooney confirmed that Danny Welbeck will be available for the Italy clash despite sitting out training with a thigh issue on Wednesday, and Hodgson’s wealth of attacking options has led to some debate over who should play.

But Rooney insists: “It’s exciting. The younger players are bringing energy into the team and it’s great to be a part of.

“This is the best squad of players I’ve been involved in since I’ve been with England. I’m looking forward to the tournament and the future – it looks bright.

“Success and trophies are always what have motivated me at club and at England level. To win a trophy with England would be the greatest thing possible.”

England were knocked out by Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 but Rooney believes this influx of youth means they are a different side that has now surpassed this weekend's opponents.

“I think we’ve moved ahead of Italy. Not just the team, but the squad we’ve got is youthful, with a lot of energy, whereas Italy more or less have the same squad,” the United forward explained.

“It will be an interesting game to see how we’ve moved on and progressed over the two years. We’ve prepared well. We are ready for the game and looking forward to it."

Script69 are you confusing "people" with "media"? Hodgson said he will drop Rooney if he plays bad. He was ok against Italy but Hodgson what about players who play better than Rooney ? Why don't you try and motivate Rooney by putting him on the bench? It will throw uruguay's plans in the air and it would give us a good threat later in the game?
- crow

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ou spend £200 million in one year and you say 3 years to win the title, I don't think the Man U board signed you to win the title in 3 years after shelling out that sort of cash. Spending that sort of money you should be challenging for the title in this season, not getting an early excuse in to try appeasing the fans and board.

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verything looks pretty when, for a short while, the sun shines through the dark clouds. For a brief moment you can forget about your last tonking or the many more to come.

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guess Storey was able to cancel his planned trip to the shops this weekend. He won't need to buy any food for a while because he's really dining out on those Angel/angel puns. It's going to be a long season.

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Forget Falcao, United Loving Angel Instead

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