Rooney brands World Cup boring - but promises he will liven it up against Algeria
Published 23:07 16/06/10 By Jeremy Armstrong
Wayne Rooney yesterday branded this year’s World Cup dull as cagey tactics, the new ball and even the hum of vuvuzelas were blamed for making it the dreariest yet.
As 30,000 England fans descended on Cape Town for tomorrow’s clash with Algeria, the striker said the matches have failed to live up to the hype – with the fewest number of goals scored at this stage since the contest began in 1930.
Rooney, who has yet to shine himself on the pitch, added: “To be honest all the games I’ve watched haven’t been exciting. I hope it gets a little bit more exciting.”
And the star’s gloom is being shared up and down the country as fans complain about the lack of sparkle in matches containing the world’s best players.
But Roo promised to liven the contest up by helping England beat Algeria tomorrow and drive the team to our first World Cup since 1966.
The first 16 games of the tournament produced a mere 25 goals. Crowd favourites Brazil only netted twice against lowly North Korea. Portugal, France and Italy have failed to light up the contest and hotly-tipped Spain lost 1-0 to Switzerland yesterday.
Only Germany and Argentina have delivered the promise of exciting football so far. But Rooney said: “I thought the Germans looked good, but they are beatable. I am confident we can do well and sure we can qualify from this group for the next round.
“Winning, that’s why I love football so much, it is to win. I have seen nothing to be afraid of.”
Roo will get another chance to impress tomorrow when he lines up against Algeria. England fans have already beaten the opposition supporters 6-1 – that’s how much they outnumber them by.
The huge turnout should make it feel like a home game. Fans gathered at the waterfront bars and cafes yesterday to soak up the atmosphere.
Football Supporters Federation international director Kevin Miles said: “We have taken our entire allocation for the game and I know the Algerians returned more than 2,000 of their 6,876 allocation.”
Mark Griffiths arrived from Essex with another group of fans. The 34-year-old said: “I walked off the plane in T-shirt, flip flops and sunglasses and couldn’t believe how cold it was. But it’s been fantastic. The atmosphere is out of this world.”
Gareth Pugh, 27, added: “It’s my first time in Cape Town and the first impressions are good.
“The beer is cheap, the women friendly and there’s football on big screens everywhere. What more could a man want?”
While the fans enjoyed themselves in the many hostelries, the England team prepared for the Algeria match by playing golf, computer games and watching other World Cup matches. Roo ribbed team-mate Jermain Defoe over his skills in the PC boxing tournament, saying he has performed like a “girl”.
It yesterday emerged a pair of trainers with the words FCUK U scrawled on one and Floyd on the other Rooney was spotted wearing recently were a joke dig at boxer Floyd Mayweather.
The player had them on when he went to see Ricky Hatton take on the American in Las Vegas nearly three years ago.
As Roo dreams of World Cup glory, more memories of 1966 came back yesterday as Geoff Hurst’s spare shirt from the final sold for £8,000 at a London auction. The long-sleeved red number 10 jersey, that stayed in the Wembley dressing room while Hurst scored a hat-trick to beat West Germany 4-2, was snapped up by a British-based memorabilia collector.
It was sold by 86-year-old Nora Cocker, widow of Les Cocker – an England coach during 1966 who died in 1979 aged 55.