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England manager Roy Hodgson has challenged Wayne Rooney to go out and prove how good he is at the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
The 28-year-old will be the first name on the team sheet for the Three Lions when they begin their campaign in South America and the whole nation will be hoping that he remains fit during the run-in to the end of the season.
The Manchester United star has not always enjoyed the best of fortunes at major tournaments and failed to shine at the 2006 World Cup when returning from a metatarsal injury, while he cut a disconsolate figure during England’s woeful showing four years ago in South Africa.
But he has always given 100 per cent for the national side and will be the player that opposition defences fear the most when proceedings get underway in June.
England have failed to progress past the quarter-finals of any major event since 1996 and there is little optimism that they will break that cycle this time around.
But Hodgson is just happy that his main man appears to be shaping up nicely for the greatest tournament of them all.
He said: “At the moment circumstances seem to be contriving towards England having a Wayne Rooney in top condition physically and mentally, and in terms of his ability – we all know how good that is.”
The veteran tactician is clearly a big fan of the former Everton ace and would love to see him replicate his club form when the world is watching in four months’ time.
“It would be nice to see him reproducing that form for England and I am confident he will,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity to show that he is not just a great star in the Premier League, but that he is a world star.”