Winner of the lead boot…Wayne Rooney!

Vineet Sharma

Wayne Rooney, the British bulldog, the terrorising EPL goal scoring machine, the man who sent tremors down defences across Europe with his persistence, poise and power, scored exactly ZERO goals in the FIFA World Cup 2010 and immensely contributed to his team’s ouster from the biggest stage the game of football brings forth.

Immortality beckons those who step-up at the time of need and Rooney was so terrible that even die-hard fans would have to swallow their Brit pride and say that the man was just a sham, a Demigod in club football, nothing more outside his yard.

Of course, one can blame the poor referee call in their last encounter against Germany or even blame the haunted Jabulani ball for spoiling the touch of the world’s most sublime (as per some experts) footballer. Hey, you can also cite the long season he has endured.

Another pretext can be the effectiveness of the stifling tactics adopted by opposing teams and to top it all, we can all claim it to be the classic curse of ‘Nike Advertisement’ for the pathetic run of form in the World Cup.

Once the dust settles and the heartache lessens, all that needs to be done is to ponder over the disgrace the big names of English football - Gerrard, Lampard, A Cole, Terry and of course, their man with the golden (or lead) boot, Rooney - brought to their own firebrand style of football. The Germans beat them in their own game - Speed!

Wazza (as he was fondly called by those thinking he’d emulate Italia 90s’ Gazza) was England’s top scorer with nine goals in qualifying matches and maybe the stardom got to his head or he simply could not come up with strong shoulders to hold the expectations. We must not overlook another such player in the present World Cup - Lionel Messi.

The young Argentine was the hitting board of all critics and even now, he stands goalless in the tournament. But the stark difference between Rooney and him is that the Messi magic is still alive as he is setting up goals for his team, creating brilliant plays even when he is surrounded by upto six opposition players. If only Wayne could deliver half of what Messi has done, England might have very well been on the road to World Cup quarterfinals instead of an ouster in the Round of 16.

Rooney, the man who has won three Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League in the intervening period, I’ve only one thing to say – YOU ARE A FLOP, like it or not.

One may score a gazillion goals for mercenary purposes in EPL but if there is nothing to write home about after the World Cup, the lesser said, the better.

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