Wayne Rooney praises Jordan Henderson for World Cup showing

Former England international Wayne Rooney believes Jordan Henderson has been the stand-out performer for the Three Lions during the course of the World Cup. Henderson featured in every game for Gareth Southgate’s side barring one where he was rested but his efforts could not propel the team beyond the semi-final stage.

Regardless of this, Rooney has put his former club rivalries aside to praise his compatriot, who has been highlighted by many as the country’s best player throughout the World Cup, he said: “Jordan Henderson has excelled as Liverpool captain, helping them to the Champions League final. And I actually thought he was England's best player throughout the World Cup.”

England were hugely tipped to reach the final of the global tournament after getting into the last four via a relatively easy bracket but they could not progress further after they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Croatia. Southgate’s team opened the scoring via Kieran Trippier before dominating the first period but an equaliser from Ivan Perisic ensured that extra-time was bestowed upon them.

From thereafter, the Croatians were the ones making the key moves and they eventually progressed to their maiden World Cup final after Mario Mandzukic bagged the winner. As such, England have now been left to compete for the third position alongside Belgium and both teams will be hoping to end the campaign on a good note by clinching the victory on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Rooney has been building up his fitness while training with his new teammates at DC United and there are suggestions that he could be handed his debut during this weekend’s league encounter against Vancouver Whitecaps. Several former Premier League stars including Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have previously made their mark in Major League Soccer and it will be interesting to see whether Rooney can put in strong performances from the off.