Cole 'should learn from Ronaldinho'

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The Independent Football

The England midfielder Joe Cole has the "skills of a Brazilian", according to Pele. But the three-time World Cup winner believes the Chelsea player needs to work on his game and learn to concentrate when to keep things plain and when to elaborate.

The Brazil legend said: "Joe Cole is a very good player. He has the skills of a Brazilian but he needs to learn when to show the skills and when to play the simple game. The tricks are fine at 3-0 or 4-0 but not at 0-0 or 1-1. When I was playing and it was 0-0 we would keep the ball and pass it around."

Pele says Cole could learn from current Brazil playmaker Ronaldinho, of Barcelona, who was recently named the World Footballer of the Year. Pele said: "Ronaldinho knows when to do the tricks and when to keep it simple. That is why he is so good."

Pele fears for England should Michael Owen also struggle for fitness, as Wayne Rooney has. "Then they will have problems," he said. "But if Brazil lose Ronaldo and Ronaldinho they have Kaka, Adriano or Robinho. They have two good players in every position. That is why they will win the World Cup."

England's World Cup-winning centre-half Jack Charlton believes Wayne Rooney must undergo a rigorous fitness test before Sven Goran Eriksson can make a proper judgement on his World Cup fitness.

The Manchester United striker is to undergo a further scan on his injured metatarsal next Wednesday, 48 hours before Eriksson must decide whether to include him in his squad for the finals in Germany. But Charlton, the former Republic of Ireland manager, argues that a scan will not be sufficient for Eriksson to make up his mind.

"I was very disappointed when Rooney got injured," Charlton said. "I was going to have a bet on England and when he got injured the inclination to do it left me. He is a wonderful player. He has got great enthusiasm and is a good runner. He will always work back and gets into good positions.

"Every country in the world likely to play England in this competition would not want Rooney in the team against them. He is almost as influential as Maradona was during the World Cups he played in. Without him, Argentina weren't really a good team.

"But he has got to be 100 per cent fit. He's got to have kicked balls, he's got to have worked hard, he's got to have run, and joined in a game. He has got all those things to go through before he can go. He's not going to get kicked but he's got to be put under a bit of pressure to show that he can play. There is no question about it, he has to go through a full fitness test because you can't do that to Sir Alex - a manager who has paid £20m for a player."