Hodgson claims Wayne Rooney raring to go in do-or-die Ukraine clash

London: England manager Roy Hodgson has said star striker Wayne Rooney is ready to take on Ukraine in the Euro 2012, after describing him as a “world class” player.

Hodgson has reportedly been so impressed with Rooney’s training performances that he believes he will be unleashing a star player when he names him in the starting XI for Tuesday’s decisive final group game with hosts Ukraine.

“His training performances have been first class and he has been first class around the place. He has been encouraging all the players and backing the players up,” The Telegraph quoted Hodgson, as saying.

“He’s a quality player. I would suggest he’s a world class player. I’m a bit wary of giving players epithets but I think he is a bit special,” he added.

The Manchester United striker has missed the first two games due to suspension, but the way he has performed at England’s Krakow training base, has convinced Hodgson that there will be no problems with his match sharpness after 37 days without competitive football.

“He’ll be raring to go and be anxious to make certain his game, when he gets back in the team, is as positive as those games he has had to sit out and watch,” the Three Lions manager said.

Rooney has not played a game since Manchester United’s 1-0 win at Sunderland on the last day of the season on May 13. His only game time had been as a second-half substitute in the relatively sedate friendly with Belgium.


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