Football

Capello hails Rooney talent

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Fabio Capello was always confident Wayne Rooney would hit the goal trail for England.

After failing to find the target in his first five games under the Italian, Rooney has now taken his tally to seven in the last four thanks to his brace against Slovakia at Wembley on Saturday.

"I am very happy when Rooney plays," said Capello ahead of Wednesday's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine. "He is different to the other players and has always done well with the national team."

He added: "I was sure he would score goals for us. I told him some things about the movement he needed to do in front of goal.

"But he is a very big talent. He can do everything."

Rooney's obvious ability, plus the relish with which Steven Gerrard has approached a role that is slightly different to the one he enjoys at Liverpool, appear to block the path to a return for Michael Owen.

When Carlton Cole was ruled out by a thigh injury that limited him to only 21 minutes of action at the weekend, Capello went for Tottenham's Darren Bent as a like-for-like replacement.

"I have to choose players to play against the Ukraine, not against history," said Capello, when asked why he was ignoring a player who has scored 40 goals for his country, only nine away from Sir Bobby Charlton's record.

"I have chosen the best players who are in good form at the moment.

"It is impossible to choose someone who has only played for 20 minutes. Why didn't he play the last game?"

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Carlton Cole
Football
Michael Owen
Premier League
Wayne Rooney
Steven Gerrard
Darren Bent
Bobby Charlton
Charlton Athletic
Liverpool

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