• World Cup

Rooney: Italy should be worried about us

ESPN staff
June 11, 2014
World Cup opening stadium not ready?

Wayne Rooney says he does not care what his critics think and that he is fit and ready to help England shine at the World Cup.

Rooney's fitness has come under scrutiny of late and the striker's place in Roy Hodgson's starting line-up has also been questioned.

Several high-profile names, including Jose Mourinho and David Beckham, have tipped Rooney to shine in Brazil, while the 28-year-old is determined to prove his doubters wrong.

"I don't care what anyone says. I'm ready for this World Cup. I am focused," Rooney said. "Of course there's competition for places - there always is [when] you're playing for your country and I'm ready for that.

"I'm not worried about anything, the manager has got a job to do and pick the team and whoever he picks I'll respect that and do my best to help the team."

Rooney suggested fellow striker Danny Welbeck will be fit to face Italy in Manaus on Saturday. Welbeck reportedly limped out of training on Tuesday and also sat out of the session held on Wednesday.

"Danny will be fine. He'll be ready for Saturday," Rooney said. "He's not risked anything in training today so he'll train on Friday and he'll be available for Saturday I'm sure."

Italy were the side that knocked England out at the quarter-final stage of Euro 2012 two years ago, but Rooney believes the squad Hodgson has chosen for Brazil is much stronger.

"I think the squad we've got is a youthful squad [which has] a lot of energy and excitement and, in terms of Italy, it is more or less the same squad," Rooney said.

"It will be an interesting game for us to see how we have moved on and how we have progressed in the two years since.

"Italy have some great players, but they should be more worried about our team."

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