Two defeats in two games ensured that Roy Hodgson’s men will play no part in the knockout phase of the tournament in what has been a disappointing summer for English football.
Although Rooney netted his first ever World Cup goal against Uruguay, his performances came in for much criticism from the fans, who questioned his work-rate during the opening loss to Italy in particular.
Van Persie – whose Dutch side are already through the group stage – feels that the criticism his club team-mate is getting is unfair:
“Wayne is a great player. I came to Manchester United to play with him and I’ve never regretted that move,” he is quoted by talkSPORT.
“By training and playing with him, he’s shown me that he is a world class player. He was under a lot of pressure but he has been since he made his debut.
“If you look at his performances he’s been very good. He played as a left winger [against Italy] and made the assist [for Daniel Sturridge’s goal]. Against Uruguay I think he did well again.
“I don’t think you can blame him for scoring one goal, working his socks off and missing three chances by inches because they were just inches and I don’t think it’s him to blame.
“He gave his all for his country like he always does. He’s a great player and a great goalscorer so I don’t think it’s fair to criticise him that much.”
Rooney saw his role in Hodgson’s starting XI question after the Italy loss and was moved into a central position against Uruguay.