Wayne Rooney will return to England for their match against Ukraine on Tuesday, and fans worldwide cannot be more excited to see him play.
|EURO 2012 SCORES FROM JUNE 16-18|
|Group A: Czech Republic d. Poland. 1-0|
|Group A: Greece d. Russia, 1-0|
|Group B: Portugal d. Netherlands, 2-1|
|Group B: Germany d. Denmark, 2-1|
Rooney is the type of player that will make a difference when he steps onto the field, regardless of the opponent. For England, this is a must-win game vs. Ukraine, and his stellar play will need to be in top form. After returning from suspension, Rooney comes back at a very important time for his national team.
As England boss Roy Hodgson said, Rooney is ready to be unleashed and put into action.
“His ability is a bit special. You’re lucky if you’re a manager of a national team to have players of his quality available,” Hodgson told the Daily Record. “I’m not worried about Rooney. Every national team has important players. […] For England it’s Rooney and Steven Gerrard. You trust these players. They have been facing this kind of pressure in their lives for a long time – so they know how to deal with it.”
Rooney, who was suspended for two games after the World Cup in South Africa, will return on Tuesday.
"I understood straight away it was a mistake and I have had to pay the price,” Rooney told the Daily Mail of his incident, in which he kicked an opponent. “Obviously as a player you have bad moments. Sometimes you have to go through those bad moments to experience the good.”
Now that he has made his amends and served his appealed time, he is ready as ever to come back into action. Of his arrogance, he has said that much of it has faded simply into a modest competitive spirit, and he realizes the significance that Andy Carroll has on the national team, even in Rooney’s absence. Carroll, of course, is thrilled to have Rooney back.
“Wayne is fantastic, he is back involved now and it is great for us and it is great for him,” Carroll told the Daily Mail. “It's massive, it does give everyone in the squad a lift, and he is a great player. He has got awesome qualities.
"That is what we need really. In training he has done everything - and that's what we need in games. His return now might give us a good lift now for the later stages of the tournament. It will be great, it will be fantastic to have him back.”
With the two dominant athletes both ready for action against Ukraine, the national team has more on their minds than just a conference win. There is a lot more at stake here, and England is looking at the bigger picture.
"I think we're good enough [to win it]. We've got the players to,” Rooney told The Guardian. “ […] We've always believed. We have to be confident going into the Ukraine game. We've got big belief in ourselves and know we're good enough to get through the group stage. Beyond that, you have to play the best teams if you want to win tournaments and how much of a boost would it be for us if we did play Spain and beat them?”
Of course, after they beat Spain, England would have one larger and much more daunting task: winning the tournament outright.
"Before the tournament started I said a country like ours needs to be in there with a shout of winning major tournaments and I firmly believe that,” Rooney continued.
“We've got the squad, we're more organized than we ever have been as long as I've been in the squad, and we are hard to beat now. If we keep doing that and keep working hard then there's no reason we can't go really far and be in with a shout of winning it."
Rooney has not scored a goal in a major tournament since 2004, but he has much more confidence in himself as a player now and has had eight years of experience under his belt since then.
Coming off of a family vacation on Father’s Day at the Polish city of Krakow, Rooney hopes to be rested and well enough to come in and beat the Ukrainian national soccer team.
With all of the prestige that the world-class player carries, I would argue that Rooney absolutely has what it takes to keep England alive in this tournament.