London: Rio Ferdinand has backed his Manchester United club-mate Wayne Rooney to deliver the goods for England in the remainder of Euro 2012 and revel in knowing he is the main man for team.
Rooney makes his return to the squad for his country`s final Group D game against co-hosts Ukraine on Tuesday, following the striker`s suspension which ruled him out of the opening two games of the competition.
Ferdinand has no doubt the former Everton man will embrace the moment and grasp his opportunity to take Roy Hodgson`s men further into the tournament, despite the immense pressure the nation has put upon him.
“This is what Rooney loves," stated Ferdinand.
“When it’s a crunch game and he has to do the business, it doesn’t worry him at all.
"It is what being a world-class player is all about, you’re supposed to enjoy the big occasions and do your best work. It hasn’t always gone right for Wayne in the past in tournaments for different reasons like injury and getting sent off, but I know he has no fears about the fact he can do the job and do it well.
“When he’s at United and it’s a really big occasion, he wants the ball all the time and he wants to do everything he can to get the win for us. He doesn’t get nervous about it. He’s not arrogant in the sense that he goes round like he’s better than everyone else. He is very much one of the team, enjoying the banter, giving it out and getting it back.
“But he knows how good he is and what he is capable of doing and that he is a very gifted footballer.”
With both of England`s starting frontmen, Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck putting in impressive performances during England`s 3-2 victory over Sweden on Friday, Hodgson faces a selection headache as he has to decide who to line-up alongside Rooney on Tuesday.
However, Welbeck seems the more likely to lead the line with his United team-mate - due largely to the fact the duo conjured up an impressive 33 goals in 22 games for the Red Devils last season.
Ferdinand praised the partnership between the two forwards for United, stressing how easy they make it for him as a defender to play with. Furthermore, the 33-year-old says the traits of his two team-mates remind him of a certain former United pairing.
“They remind me of when Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were together at United. They were both goalscorers but they could also play each other in and were happy to come short to get the ball as well," said the United centre-back.
“They could also go through the middle or down the channels. When you are a centre-back like me and you are looking at the ball forward it’s great to know you have so many options because they have such great movement.
“Both Wayne and Danny are also explosive players who can do something out of nothing and we saw that with Danny’s winning goal against Sweden. He scores worldly goals in training all the time, he doesn’t seem to do tap-ins. I’ve seen him do exactly the same thing he did against the Swedes when we are training. Trust me that one was no fluke, he knew exactly what he was doing.”
But it is not only confidence Ferdinand has in just his club-mates, as he also believes the England team, which he was left out of by Hodgson, can be a success in the tournament and prove a tough nut to crack.
“I really believe England will do enough to get through. Hodgson has got the team extremely well organised in a short space of time and you can see we will be very difficult to beat," Ferdinand explained.
“I’ve heard some people saying it’s like watching Chelsea against Barcelona when England are playing but I don’t agree with that.
“I thought Chelsea were lucky against Barca and could have lost about 12-3 but England have players who can get goals and aren’t just soaking up pressure for the whole game.”
I`ve got my strength back, which is nice. Now the next goal is to get my explosiveness and my fast twitch going, and that`s the next phase of my training.