Wayne Rooney: I’m ready to play despite the lurid allegations
Wayne Rooney last night said he was “happy to play” for England tonight despite the sensational headlines about his private life.
The player flew to Switzerland with the England squad amid controversy following allegations that he had sex with a prostitute while his wife Coleen was pregnant .
At a Press conference in Basel, England manager Fabio Capello insisted that all the players remained “focused” on tonight's Euro qualifier.
It is feared that the latest allegations, first carried by tabloid newspapers over the weekend, might affect the form of England's talisman.
There is also the possibility that, if proven, the alleged relationship with a prostitute may see the player lose lucrative sponsorship deals.
But publicist Max Clifford said that as long as he kept scoring goals the fans would not care.
Mr Clifford said: “The only thing Wayne Rooney has to worry about is his wife, whether she, like all the others, is prepared to accept her husband's alleged infidelities.”
Mr Clifford said Rooney's sponsors were also likely to stick with the player.
A spokesman for electronic game firm EA Sports, one of Rooney's sponsors, said|yesterday: “This is a personal matter and we respect Wayne and his family's privacy.
“We have worked together for six years and Wayne continues to represent EA Sports. We will be making no further comment at this time.”
Rooney (24), who appeared shaken as he jetted-off with the rest of the team from Luton Airport, has so far made no comment about the allegations.
But ahead of the second qualifier in the group stage, Capello suggested that the claims would not affect his game. The Italian said: “He told me he is ready to play, he wants to play and I'm sure that he will play.”
The England team manager added: “I spoke to him and he is happy to play.”
Asked about the impact on the team, Capello said: “We are focused on the game, not about the private lives of the players.”
England captain Steven Gerrard gave his support to Rooney during the Press conference. The Liverpool midfielder said of his international team-mate: “Wayne is a big character. I have known him for a long time, he loves playing football.”
“Yeah, he has an issue off the pitch but that will not stop him.”