Rooney – the man who the hopes of 50 MILLION people rest on

Let’s face it. As England fans we are relying on one man to power us to victory at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Wayne Rooney. Our hopes of winning the World Cup are pretty slim with Rooney in the team but without him they would be close to zero. The Manchester United striker is almost carrying the team on his back single-handedly and is the only English star who has consistently shown top form over the course of the 2009/10 Premier League season, netting 26 Premiership goals.

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has been far from his best this term, while Chelsea’s Frank Lampard has only shown glimpses of his brilliant best. The less said about the defence the better. From John Terry’s off the field problems to Rio Ferdinand’s fitness worries, our defence is looking far from the solid force it should be. Other than the England manager Fabio Capello, Rooney is the only constant in the England team.

The question is whether Wayne Rooney can deliver on the biggest stage in world football? He certainly has every time he’s worn the Three Lions on his chest so far and has been installed as third favourite for the Golden Shoe. A strike rate not far off one in two in over fifty England games is pretty impressive, and unlike many great English strikers of the past, his all-round contribution to the team is immense.

The importance of a prolific goal scorer at the World Cup cannot be overestimated. If you have someone banging in the goals like Ronaldo did for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup or Paolo Rossi did for Italy in the 1982 tournament it makes life a whole lot easier. A top marksman will help you to breeze through the opening rounds and leave the team with plenty of gas in the tank when it comes to the all-important knockout stages.

If Wayne Rooney is on song England will always look dangerous, regardless of whom they are playing. He cannot be expected to do all the work but if the likes of Peter Crouch and the rest of the England team chip in with a goal every now and then, England will be a force to be reckoned with. Spain have Fernando Torres and David Villa, Argentina have Lionel Messi and Higuain, and Brazil have Luis Fabiano, but can Rooney score upwards of five goals and fire England to victory on multiple occasions? More importantly will that be enough to take England all the way? Will we look back on the 2010 World Cup as Wayne Rooney’s tournament?

EXCLUSIVE Interview with England’s great World Cup hope:

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