Wayne Rooney feeling fit ahead of WC

Wayne Rooney says that he is relieved to at last be heading to a World Cup without any fitness worries.

The Manchester United forward has flattered to deceive at major international tournaments since his remarkable breakthrough at Euro 2004. Then only 18, Rooney netted four goals, with his performances earning him a place in UEFA's team of the tournament and a move to Old Trafford.

A decade on, he has yet to replicate that form for England and will be looking to amends at what will be his third World Cup this summer.

Rooney had to rush back from a metatarsal injury to feature in 2006 and carried an ankle injury into the tournament in South Africa, although there are no mitigating circumstances this time around having come through England's 0-0 draw with Honduras in Miami.

"I am happy going to this final feeling fit,'' Rooney said. "I have played in every training session and I am excited. I am ready to play ready to enjoy it and hopefully ready to do well.

"I feel good and obviously playing against Ecuador (and the other matches) will have helped me as well after missing the games at the end of the season. I have trained hard feel good and am ready to play.''

Rooney, now 28, should be at the peak of his powers as an attacker, despite former Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes suggesting otherwise. Those comments were laughed off by the forward, although he is aware of the importance of finally impressing on the world stage.

If he is to impress, Rooney may well have to do it from an unfavoured role on the left flank. Five years ago he said the position restricted him in terms of expression, although he impressed when deployed there in Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Ecuador.

"I have played there quite a lot in my career,'' Rooney said. "I have played left and right, more so on the left. The manager asked me to play there and I have no problem doing it.

"I am not going to stop playing for England because I was moved out on to the left wing am I? I am happy to play for England where I am needed.''

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