• World Cup

Rooney brands Ronaldo a glory hunter

ESPN staff
June 12, 2014
Varela disagrees with Rooney's view

Wayne Rooney says Cristiano Ronaldo is driven by the pursuit of personal glory rather than team success.

He is friends with his former Manchester United team-mate and claims he admires the Real Madrid's striker's selfish focus - but takes a completely different approach himself.

"I'm not a player who needs [to win] individual awards like Cristiano Ronaldo," Rooney said. "He has to have that and you admire him for that.

Back Ronaldo at 5/1 to score

Ronaldo scored a play-off hat-trick to send Portugal to the World Cup © Getty Images

"I'm more about winning things as a team. You can see how he is. He wants his moments. It's more important for me to win trophies as a team.

"I've won PFA Player of the Year, which is nowhere near as good as winning a trophy with Manchester United. I've not won anything this year, so hopefully I can do that now."

Rooney believes he can finally shine at a World Cup over the next few weeks, prospering in an England team he has been full of praise for after struggling to make his mark in the last two tournaments.

"I feel great, better than I have done for years," he said. "I'm ready for this tournament. I know if I can play my game, I'll do well.

Scholes slight still rankles

  • Wayne Rooney says Paul Scholes will have "upset" Manchester United fans by claiming he is past his peak.
  • "I'm sure he's upset a lot of people at United because they see me as worthy of signing a new deal," said Scholes, who had hit back at Scholes' lack of insight into his game previously. "They have obviously got a different opinion to Paul but you will have to ask him about that.
  • "He's been a great player at Manchester United but I've never had his phone number and he's never had mine.
  • "It was a bit strange, I'll be honest. He has his opinions and he's entitled to them. I don't agree with it, but he's probably the best player I've ever played with so I'm not going to knock him as a player."

"I've always been hard on myself. I've maybe put myself under too much pressure before. Maybe the media have put me under a lot of pressure and I've tried to respond to that.

"I've learned to enjoy this one because I haven't enjoyed the last ones, they've not gone well. All of a sudden you're looking back and they've gone and I didn't enjoy it. I'm going to make sure I take positive memories from this one. I'll have no excuses. I've prepared well for it.''

The challenge of Italy will be the first chance Rooney gets to prove his point, in Group D on Saturday. He claims England's European rivals should fear Roy Hodgson's side, rather than the other way around, and suggested a high tempo England display will be crucial.

"The Italian defenders put themselves in good positions but, if I'm being honest, when you play a high tempo they've struggled," Rooney said.

"The Italian league is nowhere near the tempo of the Premier League. Even when we played AC Milan, with [Alessandro] Nesta and [Paolo] Maldini as centre-halves, they really struggled when we've played a high tempo. If we can do that I am sure we will give them problems."

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