Darts, golf and a nap in the afternoon: Wayne's new 'boring' world

Sam Wallace gets a glimpse of life and routine under Capello's strict regime

"Breakfast, train, lunch, bed, dinner, bed." So Wayne Rooney summarised life in Camp Capello yesterday. "Lying in bed at two in the afternoon," he added. "That's quite boring."

When you are one of the most famous footballers in the world it does not pay to let your guard down often and Rooney is no exception to that rule. But just briefly yesterday he let us into his private world where nothing much out of the ordinary happens. Nevermind that beyond the gates in Royal Bafokeng and back home in England the question of Rooney and his potential effect on these World Cup finals is the national obsession.

Tomorrow Rooney faces Algeria in Cape Town in a match that England simply have to win. In his down time, he understands that, in his own words "we need to watch our legs". It was 20 years ago that Paul Gascoigne was famously caught by Bobby Robson playing tennis in the midday Sardinian sun during Italia '90. But Rooney is no Gascoigne, even if he might find himself under much the same scrutiny.

Yesterday it was his golf shoes, which have "Fcuk u Floyd" scrawled on them – a very in-joke referring to rooney's own nickname of Floyd that somehow relates to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. In public, Rooney is not the ebullient figure he is in private. He plays it safe. When an Italian journalist asked him if the players had anything planned for Fabio Capello's 64th birthday tomorrow you could see Rooney thought about a joke but decided against it.

Only very occasionally does Rooney, who has a surprising tendency to blush with embarrassment, reveal the single-mindedness that we see from him on the pitch. Yesterday it was when a German reporter enquired innocently why Rooney had said he would like to face Germany in the next round. The German was fixed with The Stare. "It would be nice," said Rooney, "to beat them".

The delicate question at the moment with Rooney relates to his goalscoring form. His last goal for Manchester United came on 30 March against Munich in Germany in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. Since the injury he picked up in that game, which restricted the amount of matches he could play in, he has not scored again. He has not scored for England in a full international since his ninth goal in qualifying against Croatia in September.

This is, after all, a man who scored 34 goals for United this season, including 26 in the Premier League. He is judged by the highest of standards. "I had a season with United, wasn't fit, and played when I probably shouldn't have," Rooney said. "I trained well with England. I am happy with that. I want to score, of course. Hopefully I can do in the next two games. When you get injured, you lose your match sharpness, at this level I need to score goals. I am feeling good, I feel I have reached maximum fitness.

"When I was playing well and scoring this season, in training I was sharp and hungry. That's how I feel at the minute. In Austria [at the training camp], I had a few niggles and in training I held myself back. But since we've come over here I've felt sharp and been flat out in training. That's important for me to do that to get my form back in the game."

Having reached a peak in his form already, Rooney is having to battle his way up the mountain. But he does not looked worried, least of all by the result against the United States which was put into perspective by Spain's defeat yesterday. The draw, Rooney said, "wasn't the worst result in the world" and, as for his own form, he was confident that it would come.

"I don't feel under extra pressure," Rooney said. "If we win the next two games I'll be happy. Did the US have two or three shots at goal from distance, and one good chance? I don't think there was any fear from us. We took the game to them. Unfortunately we didn't get the win, but we didn't play with fear.

"The manager is obviously confident and I'm a confident person, and I believe we will win [against Algeria] and qualify – I don't think there will be any problems about that."

Rooney knows that the whole World Cup is waiting for him to explode into form, especially as his superstar contemporaries – the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – have not yet hit the ground running. It is an expectation that he has lived with all his life and it is hard for him to articulate his drive and ambition in words.

Having said that, he came close yesterday with an assessment of "what Diego Maradona did [in 1986] and Pele did in three World Cups." "They are the two stand-out players to take the World Cup by the scruff of the neck and virtually win it single-handed," he said. "You look at those two and if you can do half of what they achieved, then that would be great."

Unfortunately, half will not be enough. What is being asked of Rooney is enormous and it strikes some contrast with the mundane details of life in the England camp. "It's hard at the minute," he said. "We play snooker now and then, a game of darts but there's only so much you can play. Thankfully the games are on now and we watch them. Takes a bit of the boredom away. Sometimes it's a long day. But for the training and the games it's worth it."

Suggested Topics
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?