Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hodgson Joins the Rooney Fan Club; Forward 'Among Best in World'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hodgson Joins the Rooney Fan Club; Forward 'Among Best in World'

Article excerpt

Manchester United 3 Fulham 0 ROY Hodgson watched his Fulham side become the latest to be dismantled by Wayne Rooney and admitted it is little surprise Real Madrid think he is worth pounds 100million.

Real president Florentino Perez is "obsessed" with Rooney according to the club's former president Ramon Calderon, despite the fact neither Manchester United nor their star man have given any indication a transfer is possible.

And after taking his tally for the season to 32 with the first two goals in a 3-0 win over the Cottagers at Old Trafford that took United back to the Premier League summit yesterday, Hodgson could only join the chorus of praise.

"Wayne Rooney is proving he is among the best in the world every week," said Hodgson.

"He is scoring lots of goals in a tough league like ours. He is starring for England and is starring in the Champions League. Anyone doing that is a player who will be talked about and someone everyone else is going to be coveting. It is no surprise people are coveting Wayne Rooney. "It is pointless for me to say Wayne Rooney is an excellent player because you could get that from the man in the pub.

"I just know we don't have that kind of money." At the moment, Rooney is driving United towards an unprecedented fourth successive title. After a goalless first half, the former Everton star took just 29 seconds to break the deadlock, converting Nani's return pass in clinical fashion.

With Brede Hangeland forced off with a chest injury suffered in a first half collision with Antonio Valencia, the hosts then spurned a succession of chances, and survived a scare when Bobby Zamora found himself clean through, before Rooney settled frayed nerves when he tucked home Dimitar Berbatov's cutback.

Berbatov rounded off victory near the end, although all the focus was on Rooney, who is now just 10 behind Cristiano Ronaldo's staggering total from two years ago that helped crown him world player of the year. …

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