RIO FERDINAND last night shrugged off concerns over Wayne Rooney’s ill-discipline and backed the striker to keep his cool at the World Cup.
The hot-headed Manchester United star was booked in Monday’s low-key warm-up win over Platinum Stars and accused of spouting foul language at referee Jeff Selogilwe.
Rooney, 24, was sent off at the last World Cup in Germany four years ago for stamping on Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalho in their quarter-final tie.
And official Selogilwe has warned the petulant 24-year-old he faces a similar fate at this World Cup unless he curbs his temper.
Ferdinand knows Rooney as well as anyone having taken him under his wing at Manchester United, and the 31-year-old, ruled out of the finals with a knee injury, says Rooney will be under control.
“I don’t see Wazza [Rooney] having a problem disciplinary-wise at the World Cup at all,” he said. “Wayne’s disciplinary record has been magnificent over the last couple of years, since the incident in Germany. He’s done so well to get where he is now.”
Ferdinand was due to captain the side in South Africa before a training ground clash with team-mate Emile Heskey last Friday saw him ruled out of action for six weeks.
But the centre back, who will stay out in South Africa until after Saturday’s opener with the USA, says he has now got over his initial disappointment and is focusing his attentions on supporting his team-mates.
“I can’t sit and sulk and cry over spilt over milk. It’s disappointing, but I’ve come to terms with it now,” he added. “I’ve got to get on with it.”