England striker Wayne Rooney has vowed to improve his disappointing World Cup record and finally reach his full potential on the international stage next summer in Brazil.
While many saw Rooney as the man to lead England back to the Promised Land, the forward has so far failed to produce his best form for his country in the biggest tournament.
The Manchester United striker has scored 28 of his 38 international goals in competitive matches for England in his 86 appearances, but Rooney is still yet to find the net at a World Cup Finals.
The last two tournaments have both left a sour taste in the 27-year old’s mouth, from being sent off in the 2006 quarter-finals in Germany to criticising his own fans at the miserable South Africa World Cup three years ago.
But Rooney has admitted he knows he needs to shine at a World Cup Finals if he is going to be able to look back on his England career and call it a success. And if England are going to have any chance at all – which, let’s face it, they don’t – they’re definitely going to need Rooney playing at the top of his game.
“I have always been determined to do well and I want to try to help England be successful. This is my 10th or 11th year playing for England so the obvious goal is to try to be successful and win trophies so that would obviously be the icing on the cake.”
The odds on Betfair.com suggest that, if England are going to do anything in Brazil next summer, they’re going to have to do it the hard way. Currently languishing 17th in the FIFA rankings, Rooney and his England team will not be seeded for Brazil and could therefore end up with a tough group, or possibly even the dreaded “Group of Death”.