Wayne Rooney may well be suspended for the opening two games of Euro 2012, and the odds may be against the Man Utd star, but he is still the man new England manager Roy Hodgson will be relying upon to inspire his side as Ladbrokes report free bets and continued support for the England star in the Golden Boot market.
England of course have games against France and Sweden to negotiate before Rooney can play the final group game against Ukraine and the fact that he was still picked despite this highlights how important he is for his country.
In an ideal world, Rooney will come back into the team on the back of two wins for England. Then, the Three Lions will be looking to the Manchester United striker to lead them into the latter stages.
If England slip up in either or both of the opening two games, Rooney’s role will then be to save the team and inspire them to three crucial points against the Ukraine. Either way, Rooney will come straight into the starting line-up and look to have an immediate impact.
Looking at the season he has had, Rooney is certainly in excellent form going into the summer. He may well have missed out on the Premier League title, but he scored 27 goals for Manchester United and is a constant threat to defences.
In terms of his international record, he is now an experienced striker with plenty of knowhow despite his relatively young age of 26. He has played 73 times for England already, scoring 28 goals along the way.
Rooney will be desperate to shine in a major international tournament too having been sent off in the 2006 World Cup final against Portugal. Back in Euro 2004, he was sensational and a breath of fresh air for England and he would love a similar outcome in 2012.
Overall, Rooney can without doubt inspire England. In fact, his form – as well as how England do without him – could decide how well Hodgson’s men can do this summer.
One of the best strikers in the world, Rooney will be desperate to lead England to Euro 2012 glory to truly make his mark on the international stage.