• World Cup

Van Persie: Rooney gave it his all for England

ESPN staff
June 21, 2014
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Robin van Persie has said it is "unfair" that his Manchester United team-mate has been blamed for England's failure at the World Cup.

The pair will join forces again in August under new Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal, but their national teams have had very different experiences in Brazil.

Van Persie has scored three goals for the Netherlands, who top group B and are assured of a place in the knockout stage. Rooney scored his first World Cup goal for England in their second game against Uruguay, but the Three Lions can not advance after two successive defeats.

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Luis Suarez scored both goals as Uruguay all but ended England's World Cup campaign © PA Photos

As England's talisman, Rooney has heard criticism of his performance while playing on the wing, out of his regular position, but Van Persie belives England's failures are not on his United team-mate.

"It's really unfair for people to try to blame him for England's disqualification," he said.

"Wayne played well against Italy, even out of position, and set up a goal. In the Uruguay game he scored, worked his socks off and came within inches of netting three more.

"He has given everything for his country, just like he always does. Wayne is one of the reasons why I joined Manchester United and just by training with this guy you know he is a world-class player."

England were knocked out of the World Cup when surprise package Costa Rica earned a 1-0 victory over Italy, but the FA have already given manager Roy Hodgson their backing through to 2016.

Van Persie added: "England gave it a proper go. They had chances and were unlucky in both games. But that's how it is: a fine line between progressing and getting disqualified in football these days.

"I am not in a position to advise England on what to do, but I think it is always important to invest in young players, facilities and coaches."

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