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 Posted by Kevin Palmer
Jun 11, 2014

Rooney: Ronaldo relishes solo awards

Wayne Rooney's focus is on team success ahead of England's opening game against Italy on Saturday.

Wayne Rooney has claimed that team success in more important to him that individual accolades, in comments that may be viewed as gentle criticism of his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rooney was speaking at a news conference in Brazil as England countdown to their first match of the World Cup finals against Italy in Manaus on Saturday, as the 28-year-old striker responded to questions over what motivates him to succeed.

"I'm not a player who needs [to win] individual awards like Cristiano Ronaldo," said Rooney, as he compared himself to the Portugal star. "He has to have that and you admire him for having that."

"I'm more about winning things as a team. You can see how he is. He wants his moments. It's more important for me to win trophies as a team."

"I've won PFA Player of the Year, which is nowhere near as good as winning a trophy with Manchester United. I've not won anything this year, so hopefully I can do that now."

Rooney went on to suggest he was convinced that he would shine in this summer's World Cup finals, after struggling to make his mark in the last two editions of FIFA's marquee international tournament.

"I feel great, better than I have done for years," he continued. "I'm ready for this tournament. If know if I can play my game, I'll do well."

"I've always been hard on myself. I've maybe put myself under too much pressure before. Maybe the media have put me under a lot of pressure and I've tried to respond to that."

"This time I haven't and I'm not going to. I'm going to enjoy it. I didn't enjoy the last ones. I'm going to make sure I take positive memories from this one."

Rooney admitted he was missing his wife and children while he was away with the England squad, yet his focus in on the Group D clash with Italy this weekend as he suggested a high tempo England display will be crucial to their hopes of success.

"The Italian defenders put themselves in good positions but, if I'm being honest, when you play a high tempo they've struggled," added the Manchester United forward.

"The Italian league is nowhere near the tempo of the Premier League. Even when we played AC Milan, with [Alessandro] Nesta and [Paolo] Maldini as centre-halves, they really struggled when we've played a high tempo. If we can do that I am sure we will give them problems."

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