Scholes praises Manchester United striker: 'As a footballer, he has everything'

Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes heaped praise on Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney in the build up to his centurion appearance for England.

Paul Scholes spoke highly of his former Manchester United teammate Wayne Rooney, warning him not to quit the England team with a 'cupboard full of caps - and plenty of regrets' 

The former Manchester United midfielder, writing in his column in the London Evening Standard, mentioned the regret of quitting the England team too early and finishing his international career with regrets. 

'I think - I hope - that Wayne has one more World Cup finals left in him after next summer's European Championship,' Scholes commented. 

'I would not like him to end his international career as so many of us have done. That is to say, with a shelf full of winners' medeals from our club careers and just a cupboard full of caps - and plenty of regret - from our days with England.' 

Scholes won 65 caps for England, scoring 14 goals, but called time on his international career in August 2004 - aged just 29. 

It was reported that both Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello, during their time as England manager, tried to entice the talented midfielder back into the international scene, but unfortunately for England nothing came of it. 

The 39-year-old, now football pundit, praised Rooney's ability and snapped back at those who believe he should have been as good as Lionel Messi. 

'As a footballer, it would be fair to say he [Rooney] has everything. He can finish, be it tap-ins or spectacular goals. He can pass the ball long or shot. He can head the ball and he can tackle.'

'People say that Rooney could have been like Lionel Messi, a more prolific goalscorer who dribbles past opponents more. But they are different characters. You will never see Messi snapping around the heels of an opponent to win the ball back deep in his own half.'

'Wayne does that all the time and sometimes that enthusiasm will count against him.' 

Prior to the World Cup, Paul Scholes sent out a very different message with regards to Wayne Rooney and suggested the United forward had already peaked at 26. 

'Wayne's peak may have been a lot younger than what we'd expect of footballers traditionally,' Scholes told the Guardian. 'Age 28 or 29 have been the normal 'peak'.'

'With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011-12 when he was 26.' 

Despite a poor tournament for England, blame could not be placed on Wayne Rooney who netted his first World Cup finals goal and was arguably England's best player. 

Many have criticised the former Everton man, who is likely to pick up his 100th cap against Slovenia, by suggesting his achievement for England would eclipse the fact he was never an England great. However, with 43 goals in 99 international games, it's hard to label anything other than one of England's best.

If he can play 27 more games for England, scoring seven or more goals in the process, he will become both England's highest-ever goalscorer and most capped player in history. And with possibly four or five years left in him, that achievement is extremely attainable.

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