Due to win his 100th cap for England this weekend, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been hailed by his current manager Roy Hodgson and also by the man who gave the England captain his first cap.

Having made his debut for England at the age of 17, Wayne Rooney is just 6 goals short of Sir Bobby Charltonai??i??s record (49) but believes that he can never quite be as a big a legend as the former striker as he has never won the much-coveted World Cup.

ai???The record has stood for so many years, there have been plenty of players who haven’t been able to break it. I’m still relatively young and believe I can do it.”

Current England manager Roy Hodgson heaped praise on Rooney and believes that the striker stood the test of time despite suffering severe highs and lows in his football career.

“He burst on to the scene as the wonder kid. He was the saviour of English football. And he has had to suffer the slings and arrows because of the times when, of course, he has not been able to be the saviour of English football and people have criticised him for it.ai???

“Having built him up to a very high level, they have worked very hard to knock him right back down again. I think that has given him an incredible maturity and mental strength that we will need going forward.ai???

“He is a very caring captain. He is very good in making certain that everyone is comfortable and satisfied and that there are no problems within the group. He has taken the captaincy unbelievably seriously.”

Meanwhile Englandai??i??s former manager Sven Goran Eriksson has opened up about gifting Wayne Rooney his first cap for England while hinting that the United striker cost England theAi??World Cup after getting sent off against Portugal.

ai???I had many good young players like that but Rooney was the most mature when it came to on the pitch. If you wanted to talk about tactics with him, where he needed to be when we had the ball and what he had to do when we were defending, he understood everything. As a footballer he was very intelligent.ai???

ai???Thatai??i??s why during his career he has shown he can play up front, out wide, first or second striker, midfield. He can do this because heai??i??s very clever.ai???

United manager Ferguson had his run-ins with Eriksson over his talented striker Wayne Rooney

United manager Ferguson had his run-ins with Eriksson over his talented striker Wayne Rooney

Eriksson spoke about his relationship with Wayne Rooneyai??i??s managers, David Moyes at Everton and Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, and how both managers tried their best to protect the young talented player.

ai???Every day, David Moyes would call me. Heai??i??d say, ai???Heai??i??s not ready, itai??i??s too soon, heai??i??s too young, heai??i??ll be too lonely among all those older playersai???. I understood. David was his manager at Everton and he wanted to protect him.ai???

ai???But that week in training he was brilliant. Just impossible to ignore. At the end of the training session, the day before the game I called David Beckham and the senior players together and told them I was intending to start with Wayne. They were saying, ‘Wow, fantastic’.ai???

Englandai??i??s former manager also revelead that he was shocked by Wayne Rooneyai??i??s response to his selection in the team and praised his former striker for his mental strength and for defying peopleai??i??s expectations at such a young age.

ai???He said very little in response. No ai???Thank youai??? or ai???Greatai???. Just ai???OKai???, like it was normal for him to be playing for England in this important qualification game.ai???

ai???I thought then that he had the maturity to deal with the situation. He seemed very strong mentally.ai???

Eriksson also spoke about the manner in which England crashed out of the World Cup in 2006, losing to Portugal in the quarter-finals after Wayne Rooney got sent off mid way through the second half of the game.

ai???That game remains my biggest regret in football, in my career. Yes, the hardest match to lose. I really think we had good possibilities to win the tournament in Portugal in 2004 but when we really should have reached the final was in 2006.ai???

ai???I couldnai??i??t see any team better than us and I donai??i??t think there was a team better than us. Italy won the World Cup, but they could have gone out before that. Itai??i??s not easy to win a World Cup and, after 2006, we saw the emergence of Spain; they were much better than everyone else. But in 2006 there were no teams at that level. In the end it came down to details. As Iai??i??ve said before, I should have brought in a psychologist to help the players with penalties.ai???

ai???But itai??i??s a pity for all those great players: Beckham, Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Ashley Cole, Terry and Ferdinand, Michael Owen. Very good players and a good group of players.ai???

Talking about Rooneyai??i??s red card, he believes that he was extremely disappointed with the player but inistsed that he asked journalists to go easy on the player and not to ai???killai??i?? him.

ai???It wasnai??i??t just the remaining half an hour but a further 30 minutes of extra time we had to play with only 10 men. Who knows what would have happened had that not been the case? But what do you say in the dressing room when you are out?ai???

ai???I remember some of my players crying in the dressing room when we lost to Portugal at Euro 2004. And after we lost to them again in the World Cup I thanked them for five-and-a-half years and wished them luck in the future.ai???

ai???I was angry with Rooney, yes, disappointed of course. But I didnai??i??t say very much to him. I think I told him he needed to work on behaving better. For himself. I told him he was too big a player to be sent off in games like that.ai???

ai???But he was young and he was still a great player, doing great things for England. And itai??i??s why I said to you afterwards, to the journalists, ai???Donai??i??t kill himai??i??.ai???

ai???It was OK to kill me because you didnai??i??t need me. But you needed Rooney and, when I said that, I had what happened to Beckham when he was sent off in ai??i??98 at the back of my mind.ai???

Eriksson also spoke about his run-ins with then Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson who tried his best to protect Wayne Rooney from injuries.

ai???I remember a lot of fights with him (Ferguson). It was a Sunday morning at Carrington. The United doctor spoke for 30 minutes, explaining why Rooney couldnai??i??t go. And I listened and said ai???OKai???. And then I asked Leif what he thought.ai???

ai???Leif looked at the United doctor and said, ai???Why are you lying to me? Either youai??i??re lying or you donai??i??t understand what you are talking aboutai???. And Iai??i??m looking at Leif, who was normally a quiet man, thinking, ai???Wowai??i??.ai???

ai???He said, ai???Iai??i??m a specialist of this type of injury. Iai??i??ve done thousands of operations. What do you know?ai??i?? And Ferguson walked out.ai???

ai???During that time Rooney had phoned me and his agent had phoned me, saying I have to pick him for the World Cup. I understood Ferguson. He defends Manchester United. It is one reason why he was so successful. But he was always shouting; only shouting.ai???

Set to earn his 100th cap soon for England, it now remains to be seen what the United captain can do in his role as the England captain. Will Wayne Rooney survive yet another challenge posed to him? Only time will tell.

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