Which Rooney will turn up?

Wayne Rooney

More than a decade after he made his England debut as a fearless and prodigiously talented teenaged tearaway, it is still hard to find a consensus on Wayne Rooney's value to his country.

Is he the world-class talisman upon whom several England managers - as well as thousands of travelling fans - have invested their hopes of overdue success?

Is he merely a good player whose intermittent brilliance exposes the mediocrity of many of his international teammates?

Or is he the English enigma - perhaps even underachiever - who has caused so much frustration at major tournaments?

What is clear is, that at the age of 28 and with 89 caps and 38 goals behind him, Rooney owes England a big World Cup in Brazil.

The Liverpool-born striker might have won Premier League and Champions League titles since joining Manchester United in 2004, but his England career has no obvious mark of distinction.

So which Rooney will turn up in Brazil?

Sadly, for England supporters, it is impossible to predict with any degree of confidence.

This season Rooney has performed capably in a struggling United side.

His commitment can never be doubted and there have been suggestions that England manager Roy Hodgson could ask Rooney to become captain if Steven Gerrard retires after Brazil, a recognition of his maturity and inspirational never-say-die attitude,

Hodgson's dilemma is whether to stake everything on his No. 10 and in February he made a direct appeal to him to show the world what he can do in Brazil.

The question, still, is whether he can do it against the best defences on the biggest stage of all.

- Reuters.

I’ve come in and trained hard, had no recurrence of the groin strain I had at the end of the season.

— Wayne Rooney

World Cup