Chelsea boss on Manchester United forward: 'It is his World Cup'

Jose Mourinho is backing Wayne Rooney to have a successful World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is backing Wayne Rooney to shine at this summer’s World Cup for England.

A lot has been made about Rooney’s role within the squad. Some see him as a talismanic figure who shouldn’t be dropped from the side, whilst others have questioned whether he can perform on the big stage for his country.

Having had a successful Euro 2004 at young age, Rooney hasn’t set the world alight at either the 2006 or 2010 World Cup, and was suspended for the opening two matches of England's Euro 2012 campaign.

But Mourinho agrees with the striker when he says it’s his time to shine on the big stage.

The Blues’ boss, who tried to sign Rooney from Manchester United last summer, told Yahoo: “He is not a kid anymore, he is not an old player at the end of his career, he is what I call the best age.

“It is his World Cup and I think he has a role as a leader in the team, a little bit similar that he had also at United this season.

“He is a guy with responsibilities in the national team, I think he is ready to cope with this pressure. I think that can play a positive role in his ambition, in his anger to succeed.”

Some have suggested that Everton youngster Ross Barkley should replace Rooney in the starting line-up given his impressive appearances against Ecuador and Honduras in the friendlies in Miami, whilst some have suggested that Rooney is struggling.

So far England manager Roy Hodgson has used Rooney in the number 10 role and out on the left hand side, but it is evident that he prefers playing in a more central role.

It’s unlikely that Rooney will be left out of England’s opener against Italy on Saturday given his big game experience, as he is likely to line up just off Daniel Sturridge, who will lead the line.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch