England stand-in captain Rio Ferdinand has thanked Dimitar Berbatov for inspiring Wayne Rooney's recent form for club and country.
Five England goals in Rooney's last three appearances have followed, after nearly a year without an international strike and Ferdinand believes Berbatov's deadline-day arrival at Manchester United has lifted the former Everton striker.
"Wayne is confident, playing well - and being honest, one of the reasons I was happy that Berbatov signed for United was that I knew it would inspire other players in the team to step their game up another level," said United centre-back Ferdinand.
He added: "It's not just the forwards but the other players as well - because when a new player comes in that's what happens.
"Everyone wants to impress that player and show them why they are playing for Manchester United. I think 'Wazza' has taken that on board and gone from strength to strength.
"I think they can be a great pairing - but what I'm getting at is Berbatov's arrival will help him become a better player individually and go to another level.
"'Wazza' scored 15 goals last season, and made 15 'assists'. That was a great season, and yet he wants to keep on improving and keep on getting better - and he's doing that.
"Some players go into their shells and can't handle it.
"They think 'I can't do this'. They either end up playing rubbish, or you get others like Wayne who take on that battle head first - and he's doing that."
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