Pele backs Rooney

Wayne Rooney has received the backing of Pele

Wayne Rooney has received the backing of Pele

First published in National Sport News © by

Pele has backed Wayne Rooney to star for England at the World Cup.

Rooney has scored 39 goals for England, but he has never found the net at a World Cup despite featuring in South Africa and Germany.

The England striker struggled for fitness and form prior to the squad's training camp in Miami, but Pele expects the 28-year-old to perform well in Brazil.

"Wayne Rooney has not scored [in a World Cup finals] but he was fantastic for the team," the three-time World Cup winner told Sky Sports News.

"He was always the player who fought more for the team - I would like him in my team, you know!"

England start their campaign against Italy in Manaus on Saturday before taking on Uruguay and Costa Rica.

It is a tough group, but Pele believes England should qualify.

"England have a difficult group but I think they could pass," the Brazilian said.

"The World Cup is a very short tournament and the experienced players always do well."

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