Beckham insists Rooney must start in Brazil

Former England captain David Beckham says Wayne Rooney still strikes fear into opponents and must start against Italy, ESPN reports.

After Rooney’s below par performance against Honduras on Saturday, there have been rumours that the Manchester United striker’s starting place may be under threat but Beckham is positive than he can still perform on the world’s biggest stage.

“When opposing teams see Wayne Rooney’s name on an England team-sheet, it still scares them. I will always back Wazza because he is a great talent and a great player for England.”

Beckham, who made 115 appearances for The Three Lions between 1996 and 2009, also claims that Rooney is about much more than scoring goals. “It’s all about confidence with strikers, but Wazza has always been about more than just scoring goals. He’s a goalscorer, but he works hard for the team and that is what his game has always been about. If he doesn’t score goals, he’s either assisting or creating something for the team. He is a creator as well as a scorer.”

Following Beckham’s former Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes’ comments that Rooney’s best days may be behind him, the ex-Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder said: “Scholesy knows Wayne as well and has been around him more than I have. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I thought Wayne was the shining light for United last season when the team struggled a bit.”

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