London – Wayne Rooney expects to be in peak condition when he embarks on his third World Cup finals campaign next month.
He is excited by the potential of the young talents in the England squad.
The 28-year-old striker was rushed back from a metatarsal injury for the 2006 World Cup and carried an ankle injury into the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Despite missing the last three matches of a disappointing Manchester United season with a groin injury, Rooney is confident he will be fit for June 12 Brazil tournament.
“Previously I have always been going into the first game looking for fitness and it’s difficult to get your breathing right and the rest of it,” he said.
“This time I honestly feel good. I have looked after myself to be fit for this tournament. I will be ready. I’m looking forward to it.’’
Manager Roy Hodgson has included talented youngsters in his provisional squad including Rooney, a seasoned campaigner with 89 caps and 38 international goals.
He believed that they could help make a big impression in Brazil.
He said:”The players we have in the squad really excite me and I’m sure they will excite the fans.
“Obviously the manager picks the squad, but you can see that he has seen the potential in the young players too.”
Rooney picked out Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley and Liverpool’s winger Raheem Sterling.
He has been encouraged by the form of his likely strike partner Daniel Sturridge and Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana.
Rooney believes Hodgson’s squad have enough quality to defy odds in excess of 30-one at the World Cup.
“There is a great mix and I think we can surprise people. It’s exciting,
“I believe we can go all the way in Brazil, I really believe that. We have a great group of young players,” he said.
“It is going to be difficult. There is a chance we could go out at the group stage, but I really believe we have a good enough team to go a long way.” (Reuters/NAN)