Wayne Rooney has conceded he should not have gone to the 2006 World Cup with England, after suffering a serious foot injury before the tournament.
England’s all-time record goalscorer was a major doubt ahead of the finals in Germany that year after breaking three metatarsals while playing for Manchester United in a 3-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea the previous April.
Rooney was passed fit to play in England’s second Group B game against Trinidad and Tobago after making a quicker-than-expected recovery – but he then tore a groin in team training and, rather than concede defeat, battled on.
“I hit it [the ball] from the halfway line, trying to strike the crossbar and felt my groin tear. I knew straight away,” he told UK publication, Sunday Times.
“I got one of the physios to work quietly on it every day. I was taking painkillers. I didn’t want to say anything because a lot of people had put a lot of work into getting me fit.
“I didn’t report the injury until the tournament was over and there was a 6cm tear in my groin.”
Rooney’s World Cup ended with a red card in England’s quarter-final loss to Portugal.
He added: “Looking back, I should never have gone to that World Cup.
“If the Euros were going ahead this summer, I’d have said to Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford that if they were struggling in any way, not to push it.
“Of course it’s hindsight. Back then I was 20, it was my first World Cup and there was so much expectation on me.”
By Sky Sports