Why he's ranked: Such is the hype around England talisman Rooney in the buildup to a major international tournament that his each and every minor injury is given huge coverage in his local media. Yet this Manchester United star has struggled to live up to his billing in the past two World Cups. Could Brazil 2014 be the moment when Rooney's powerful, bustling brilliance shines when it matters most?
Key stat: With 158 goals, Rooney is the top Manchester United scorer in Premier League history. Only one other player has more than 150 goals for one Premier League team, and that's Thierry Henry (175 for Arsenal).
What the experts say: "The hopes of Roy Hodgson's England certainly depend on the form of the 28-year old, who, despite having scored in all manners throughout a decade with his national team, will be looking for his first World Cup goal in his third appearance. Always a lethal striker, despite a bad year with United, his personality and desire for revenge may be crucial in leading England past a very difficult group stage." - Nicolas Baier, ESPN Argentina
"[He brings] a lot of technique, a lot of devotion, a lot of heat. Whether organizing or scoring, he is the best of England." - Gian Oddi, ESPN Brasil
"The teenage terror is approaching elder statesman status yet remains the first name on England's team sheet. Despite [his] never hitting the international heights he reached at Euro 2004, no Englishman matches his talent, either as a straight striker or No.10. This season, a failure for his club has still seen him rattle in some remarkable goals." - John Brewin
What You Think:
@ESPNFC seems a bit high, he's barely in the top-14 of England's squad.
— ArsenalDMC (@ArsenalDMC) June 5, 2014Other articles:
- John Brewin: Why Rooney still matters to England
- ESPN FC Blogs: England
- #WorldCupRank: Our Top 50 players of the World Cup
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