Fifa technical experts praise Rooney

Fifa technical experts praise Rooney

Wayne Rooney may have been viewed as one of the biggest disappointments of the World Cup, but FIFA’s technical experts today praised him out as one of England’s “outstanding” players in the tournament.

The Manchester United striker did not score in any of England’s four games in South Africa and appeared to have been affected by an injury picked up towards the end of last season.

FIFA’s technical report, which has been published today, picks out Rooney, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard as England’s outstanding players.

Rooney is described as a “hard-working, energetic striker; worked hard for team; good technique”.

Liverpool midfielder Gerrard was picked out as England’s most influential player and praised as a “dynamic midfielder with good vision and technique, who linked defence and attack”.

Cole, generally recognised as England’s best player in the tournament, was described as a “competitive left-back with good technique, made forceful attacking runs”.

The report was put together by FIFA’s 16-man technical study group, including former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier and ex-Scotland boss and now UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh.

The report on England stresses “strong, hard-working players” with “aerial strength used effectively at set pieces in defence”.

It also picks out:

* Rapid transition from defence to attack

* Attacks using the width

* Effective use of full-backs

The FIFA report does not pick out three or more “outstanding” players for every country.

For France and Italy, who both went out in the group stage, only one player is mentioned: France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Italy midfielder Daniele de Rossi.

The report says England’s 4-1 defeat in the first knockout phase at the hands of Germany, together with France and Italy’s exits were “the major shocks of the tournament” and said the three European countries and Brazil had to deal with high levels of expectation.

Jean-Paul Brigger, the technical study group’s director, lauded Spain as the complete team and arguably “team of the century”.

Brigger said: “Spain won the UEFA Euro in 2008 and are now world champions too, which is a stunning success. The Spanish team has grown and developed together and is now capable of fantastic, highly attractive football.

“They’re compact, and tackle and run hard too. Xavi, Iniesta and Xabi Alonso in midfield cover huge amounts of ground but play fabulous football too – it looks pretty and even playful, but it’s actually very hard work indeed.

“They’re a complete team, arguably contenders for team of the century. And up until the final, the Dutch also played some fine football.”

More in this Section

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

World Para Athletics Championships: Waiting game pays off for Niamh McCarthy in DubaiWorld Para Athletics Championships: Waiting game pays off for Niamh McCarthy in Dubai

Keena’s heart for Ireland causeKeena’s heart for Ireland cause

Cool Mullins holds off Murphy challenge at BauravillaCool Mullins holds off Murphy challenge at Bauravilla


The Cosmetify Index reveals the cosmetics companies that are generating the most buzz online – and Dubai-based Huda Kattan has the top spot.Huda Beauty tops the 10 ‘most popular’ beauty brands this year

Read the script of Kya deLongchamps’ kitchen-sink drama to set the scene to make an informed choice when selecting this home essentialTake the plunge: Read this checklist before you splash out on your new kitchen sink

SOMETIMES, the journey is more important than the destination. And sometimes, we just want to sit at home eating a bag of jelly beans, while thinking about more jelly beans. Life is only as significant or special as we make it.GameTech: Death Stranding is a divisive, beautiful journey packaged in a cool world

Former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll tells Richard Purden about the mad times when five Manc-Irish lads became one of the biggest rock bands in the worldNot looking back in anger: Former Oasis drummer looks back at the mad times of one of the biggest rock bands in the world

More From The Irish Examiner