England international Wayne Rooney has reveal that he thinks England are now a better side than Italy – their conquerors at Euro 2012.
When asked whether or not England had moved ahead of Italy since the quarter-final penalty shootout exit in Kiev two years ago, the 28-year-old said: “I think we have.
“I think the squad we’ve got is a youthful squad (which has) a lot of energy and excitement and in terms of Italy it is more or less the same squad (as the one at Euro 2012).
“It will be an interesting game for us to see how we have moved on and how we have progressed in the two years (since).”
Rooney also insisted that Danny Welbeck will be fit to face Italy today.
He said: “Danny will be fine. He’ll be ready for Italy.
Rooney insists he does not care what his critics think and is focused only on helping England do well at the World Cup.
The Manchester United striker has come in for criticism of late, with some believing that he does not warrant a starting place in Roy Hodgson’s side.
Rooney, however, brushed off his detractors at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, three days before the Three Lions kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy in Manaus.
He said: “I don’t care what anyone says. I’m ready for this World Cup. I am focused.
“Of course there’s competition for places – there always is (when) you’re playing for your country and I’m ready for that.