England striker Wayne Rooney has commented on the ball that is to be used at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer.
The tournament in South Africa four years ago saw stark criticism of the ball, the Jabulani, from players and officials.
The ball infamously tended to change in direction where it perhaps shouldn’t have, and caused all sorts of problems for goalkeepers and outfield players alike.
But Wayne Rooney has been quick to dampen concerns that we could see a repeat this summer, and says he has had no problems this time around
“That ball was really difficult,” Rooney is reported as saying on London24 of the Jabulani.
“It really did take a long time to get used to it because there would be times when the ball was coming into the box for a header, you jump to try and time it and it would just swerve off.
“This one, I haven’t seen any of that happening this time.”
Rooney was speaking at England’s pre-tournament training camp in Portugal, where the Manchester United striker is expected to defy injury doubts to be fit for England’s opening game against Italy on June 14.
England take on Peru next Friday, before facing Ecuador and Honduras in their other two pre-tournament friendlies.
Rooney was today given the number 10 shirt for his World Cup campaign, after commenting in the media that he must perform for England to succeed in Brazil. The 28-year-old has often been accused of not playing his best football whilst in an England shirt, as the Three Lions bid to get out of a tough group containing Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Assuming Rooney’s injury gives him no further trouble, he should excel at the World Cup this summer given his club situation. He was awarded a new contract earlier in the season at Manchester United, reportedly worth up to £300,000 a week, whilst the position of his future manager has been sorted with Louis Van Gaal being confirmed at Old Trafford this week.
Rooney will be 32 at the turn of the next World Cup, an age that brings no guarantees for any striker, and he must stand-out this summer to be sure of leading the line in future tournaments for England.