Wayne Rooney: Maligned Striker Must Lead England Past Italy

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Wayne Rooney: Maligned Striker Must Lead England Past Italy
Martin Rose/Getty Images

When Wayne Rooney came on the pitch from his two-game suspension, many thought that his first performance this Euro 2012 would be akin to a lion coming out of its cage and mercilessly scoring goals left and right for England.

Well, Rooney did score against Ukraine, but he wasn’t as clinical as his country expected him to be.

For Manchester United, Rooney was phenomenal this past season. He led his team with 27 league goals in 34 games.

He’s carried Manchester United on his back for the past few seasons, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez left Manchester United, Wayne Rooney has been Manchester United’s key player, and he’s been taking it in stride ever since, leading his side to a Premier League title and Community Shield in 2011.

For all that Wayne Rooney’s accomplished with Manchester United, he’s barely had a chance to make history with England. Putting all the blame on him would be unfair, however. With the talent that this man has, it’s equally unfair for him to not showcase that talent in major tournaments for England.

Before the game against Ukraine, the last time Rooney scored in a major international competition was in Euro 2004.

This upcoming game against Italy will be his chance to show his class to the world. It won’t be easy, as Italy’s back line is comprised of players from Juventus’ undefeated squad last season. But Wayne Rooney has shown that he is world class. The only thing he needs to do now is show that he can lead the line with England as he does on a weekly basis with Manchester United.

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