Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wayne: Gamescan't Come Quick Enough

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wayne: Gamescan't Come Quick Enough

Article excerpt


THERE are nights when Wayne Rooney sits in front of the television shouting at the screen.

But it is nothing to do with the isolation of England's luxurious mountain retreat, or the tedium that eventually gnaws at all World Cup squads after a month away from home.

Wayne was shouting at the TV the other night because the Argentina manager Jose Pekerman refused to summon the 19-year-old wonder boy Lionel Messi from the substitute's bench.

"I was shouting because I wanted Messi to start," said the 20-year-old Manchester United forward. "He's a brilliant player and you want to see the brilliant players at the World Cup. I always want him to start when Argentina play.

But I realise the manager wants to use him carefully because he's only a young lad."

Rooney is another young lad who, along with with Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, represents the global superstars of the future in the last eight of this World Cup. But, having now assumed the role as a solo striker, it is only Rooney who has to bear the entire weight of expectation of a nation solely on his own broad shoulders.

Rooney has now recovered from his broken metatarsal and England can reap the benefit of having him available and match-fit for the latter stages of the World Cup.

Rooney said: "It was horrible watching football on TV when I was injured. I just wanted to be out there playing.

"The doctors said I would be back in six weeks and I'm so grateful that they were right. It's so exciting just being here. The games can't come quickly enough for me.

"I always believed I'd be fit to play. I stayed positive and got a lot of support. I received loads of letters from people and I'm thankful for all of them. I also got some funny things.

"Someone sent me a potion and said if I rubbed it in the foot I'd get better. …

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