Peter Crouch believes Wayne Rooney is one of the best players in the world at the moment and has backed the Manchester United man to be a key player for England at the World Cup.
Rooney prospered in the domestic season just ended following Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer to Real Madrid last summer, scoring 33 goals for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
Tottenham Hotspur forward Crouch is confident that the former Everton star can replicate that sort of form in South Africa and go on to be a candidate for this year's World Player of the Year award.
He said: "It's massive for us to have someone in such great form going into the World Cup. He's always been fantastic, a top-class player.
"People are saying he needs to play with another striker but this season at United he has proved he can play up front on his own and still score goals.
"Wayne is world-class. He's in the top five players right now - everyone would agree with that. I think he could end up being the World Player of the Year. It would be great for England if someone could do that.
"He's achieved so much in a short time. He has a long, long way to go in his career and he's more mature than, say, five years ago.
"We had a long winter in the Premier League and the World Cup is in every England player's mind. It's an exciting time for everyone concerned. It's been far too long since we won the World Cup or even got close to winning it.
"I'd like to think we can live up to our expectations. We have a strong belief. The way we qualified with games to spare was good. We have a fantastic squad.
"We've talked ourselves up before and it's been frustrating that we haven't lived up to our expectations. This year we'd like to go out and really prove ourselves."