Senior Rooney keen to become England version of ‘Cantona’

London: Talismanic striker Wayne Rooney, who is one of the senior most players in the England team now since John Terry’s retirement and Rio Ferdinand’s ouster from the team, has expressed hope of inspiring young Three Lions’ stars just like former Manchester United captain Eric Cantona did to youngsters like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

“I hope it is time for me to show I am a senior player and that I can lead the team. I understand the scrutiny I`m under and I have no problems with that,” the Daily Mirror quoted Rooney, as saying.

“Hopefully in the near future we will be coming out of a tournament and you will all be praising me because we have won a trophy. That would be great for everyone. It`s especially important now, when we have a lot of young players in the squad. I always try to speak to them and offer advice,” he added.

“I always remember what Sir Alex Ferguson says about how Eric Cantona was such a big help to the younger players at United. It is something I can look at and try do for England, to try to help them. Hopefully I can bring the best out of them and they can bring the best out of me as well,” he said.

Although Rooney has been the country’s talisman for nearly a decade, the man the nation has pinned its hopes upon, it has not worked for him or England on the big stage.

The summer’s Euro 2012 quarterfinal exit against Italy seemed like par for the England course, Rooney’s subdued display after he had served his two-match ban for a red card on the final qualifier in Montenegro fingered as one of the key reasons Roy Hodgson’s men went home early.