London: England manager Roy Hodgson has said striker Wayne Rooney failed to live up to expectations in the Euro Cup.
Hodgson, who compared the Manchester United talisman to Brazil legend Pele during Euro 2012, said there was lot of pressure on Rooney, which eventually took a toll on the former Everton front man.
“Of course, I think we put a lot of expectations on him. When he missed the first two games, we were all believing, What we need to do now is get to the third game and Wayne Rooney will win us the championship,” Hodgson said.
“That maybe was too much to ask of him. He certainly tried very hard, but he didn’t have his best game. I think he would admit that. That might be down to a number of factors, but I don’t think that fitness itself was a particular factor,” he added.
“Well, we do put pressure on players but so do other teams, don’t they? I think had Andrea Pirlo played poorly against us, it might have affected the Italians’ performance. I think, in all top international teams, you’re looking at one, two, possibly three individuals that everyone recognises as being exceptional world-class talents,” he said.
Hodgson further added: “When you get to the big stage, you’re hoping those players perform and show they’re world-class talents – the Maradonas that win a World Cup with his performance.”