Wayne Rooney: England Star Must Prove He Can Handle International Pressure
Wayne Rooney has a decorated resume at the club level for Manchester United but he can't be considered as one of the elite players in the world until he shines on a consistent basis at the international level with England.
Rooney has underperformed throughout his international career, and started Euro 2012 with a two-match suspension for a red card he received in the qualifying stage.
Rooney has a massive game against Italy on Sunday in the quarterfinal, and it's the perfect opportunity to prove that he can lead the Three Lions to victory against top opponents.
Is Rooney a top-five player in the world?
If Rooney can score against Italy and lead England to a semifinal match against Germany, he will take another step in his career.
The 26-year-old has not played well in big games throughout his career, especially for England, but this is the time he needs to prove he can handle the pressure. He had zero goals at the 2010 World Cup and has just one goal at Euro 2012 thus far.
Italy has the strongest defensive squad in the tournament, and will be the toughest possible test for Rooney at Euro 2012.
England need someone to lead their attack and carry them to a European championship. Rooney has the talent to score goals and dominate the best defensive schemes and players. He scored 27 goals in 32 matches for United in the Premier League this season, but has scored less than half that amount for England over the last three years.
The next step in Rooney's brilliant career is to perform at a high level on the international stage and lead England to glory. If he can handle this pressure and thrive when the expectations are highest, he will rise to a new level of stardom.
The stage has been set for Rooney to shine for England like he has for Manchester United so many times.
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