Wayne Rooney will play in Germany

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

England soccer player Wayne Rooney, 20, has been passed fit to play in the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament which starts on June 9 in Germany. The £27 million Manchester United star had a scan on Wednesday that showed the 4th metatarsal he broke on Apr 29 had healed - in less than 6 weeks.

Rooney was supposedly spotted boarding a plane to Germany while the BBC claim sources close to the Football Association indicated Rooney was in England's final World Cup squad.

The news is considered a big boost to England's chances to win the World Cup. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had said the player's chances of playing were "a forlorn hope."

The English soccer club, recently bought by American billionaire Malcolm Glazer, was concerned the investment would risk a worse injury if the previous toe-bone break had not healed when he started to play again. Manchester United's club doctor Todd Gill and physiotherapist Rob Swire, accompanied by a small army of Red Devils' lawyers, were said to have attended the foot scan.

The scan was considered so important to England's fortunes that Eriksson sent England's doctor to observe the event. A FIFA official was also present in the crowd at the moment of truth for Rooney's foot. The official would have been final decision-maker in case of a dispute between one of the richest soccer clubs in the world and the country that invented the game.

The Swedish manager of the English football team Sven-Göran Eriksson, who had said Rooney would play some part in the competition, named Rooney in England's 23-man squad for Germany.

The World Cup tournament pits soccer players from national teams against each other for a trophy. Previously graced by Pele and Maradona, England has not won the competition for 40 years.