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
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits