Becks Calls for Roo Caution
England captain David Beckham has urged Wayne Rooney not to gamble with his career by playing at the World Cup finals if he is less than 100 percent fit.
Rooney broke a metatarsal bone against Chelsea last month and is far from certain to be fit for this summer's showpiece event.
Beckham shrugged off a similar injury to lead the nation four years ago, although he looked well short of peak fitness and form in Japan & Korea.
Rooney's injury occurred later in the season than Beckham's and the Real Madrid star does not believe the forward will be ready to help The Three Lions.
Some reports on Sunday are suggesting Rooney could be fit in three weeks, but Beckham has urged the young star not to rush back into action.
"I was always so positive I was going to make the World Cup anyway. It never entered my head not to be fit for it, whereas Wayne has had his injury a month later than I did," Beckham told the News of the World.
"If he's not right, then he has to look after himself. He can't take risks. He's got a huge future ahead of him, so he has to be careful.
"He shouldn't rush it. Everyone in our country wants him fit but he's got to think of himself as well."
England's chances of World Cup glory would certainly improve with Rooney on the field, but Beckham feels there is enough quality in Sven Goran Eriksson's squad to offset the loss of the former Everton man.
He added: "We'd rather have Wayne in the team on and off the pitch. He's great off the pitch and everyone knows what he can do on it.
"But we've got other world-class players. A lot of them are club captains and have won huge games.
"John Terry and Frank Lampard have won Premiership titles. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have won the European Cup.
"Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell are going to the Champions League final on Wednesday and have won leagues and so has Rio Ferdinand.
"Gary Neville is Manchester United captain. Michael Owen has played for Real Madrid and captained Liverpool."