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Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Bhadra 25, 1421, Zilqad 13, 1435 Hijr


Sterling can be England's Overmars says Rooney
Publish Date : 2014-09-09,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 19
BASEL, Sept 8: England captain Wayne Rooney has likened team-mate Raheem Sterling to the former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars and predicted a "massive" future for him at club and international level.
Sterling, 19, burst onto the scene with Liverpool last season and was one of the few players to emerge with any credit from England's dismal showing at the World Cup in Brazil, where they went out in the group stage.
Ahead of Monday's opening 2016 European Championship qualifier against Switzerland in Basel, Rooney revealed that he had given the teenager a pre-World Cup pep talk in which he told him about his similarity to Overmars.
"I sat down with him before the World Cup and showed him videos of Marc Overmars. He reminded me of him. I think he has the potential to be as good," the Manchester United striker told a media briefing on Sunday.
"He's a fantastic player. You saw that last season, and with the start to this season.
"He's quite an unusual player. He can play right across the front line, out wide. Although he's a small lad, he's really strong as well.
"He's a young lad, but the potential he's shown is incredible. He'll be a massive player for us (England) for the next 10-15 years, and unfortunately, for Liverpool!"
A lightning-quick, right-footed left winger, Overmars won 86 caps for the Netherlands and starred for the Arsenal team that won a Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998. He is now the director of football at Ajax.
Sterling was England's stand-out player in their friendly against Norway on Wednesday, winning the second-half penalty from which Rooney scored the game's only goal and giving the Norwegian defence a series of discomfiting moments.
Although England mustered only two shots on target in the game, manager Roy Hodgson was staunch in his defence of his players afterwards, describing journalists' questions about the team's statistics as "absolute fucking bollocks".
While he cut a calmer figure as he fulfilled his pre-game media responsibilities on Sunday, Hodgson said that he would always put the team's needs before any concerns about his own reputation.    AFP










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