PSG and Italy midfielder Thiago Motta began the World Cup trash talking early by taking shots at England and saying Wayne Rooney is their only good player. Italy face England in their opening match on June 14th and will also face Costa Rica and Uruguay in Group D. England and Italy face stiff competition from Uruguay to qualify but Thiago Motta seems to think the Three Lions are not much of a threat if Rooney is ineffective.
Thiago Motta’s comments to the Daily Mail:
“I think that we know that if we keep Rooney quiet in the opening game against England then we will get the result that we want. He is a very good player – one of the best – but the problem is England look at him for everything. At the World Cup that is a problem for them – the opposition know if they stop Rooney they stop England.
Italy have many good players – we don’t rely on just one. I think the same is true of Uruguay. Europe knows that Luis Suarez has had a fantastic season in England – but even if Suarez is quiet they have Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani who will score them goals.”
Wayne Rooney is indeed England’s talisman but to say that he is the only player is a bit foolhardy from Motta. It is more likely that he is just trying to wind up the English ahead of the World Cup and given the already heavy pressure on the England players this may not be such a bad idea. Motta got a chance to face some of England’s best when he played against Chelsea in the Champions League but other than Frank Lampard, the only England players for the Blues are defenders.
England does have their fair share of attacking options in players like Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere but Rooney is considered by many as head and shoulders above the rest. All this banter is entertaining though and hopefully will lead to an even more contentious World Cup! \