Pele backs Rooney

Hampshire Chronicle: Wayne Rooney has received the backing of Pele Wayne Rooney has received the backing of Pele

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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