Espinoza aware of Rooney's quality

07 June 2014 06:01

The criticism of Wayne Rooney has surprised Roger Espinoza, with the Honduras midfielder sure England have one of the best players in the world.

Former internationals Gary Lineker and Paul Scholes have been amongst those to criticise the 28-year-old in the lead-up to this summer's World Cup.

The latter, a former team-mate for club and country, suggested Rooney was past his peak - comments which were compounded by a poor display against Peru last week.

The Manchester United attacker put in a vastly-improved performance during Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Ecuador and will likely get more minutes under his belt against Honduras.

The Central Americans currently sit 30th in FIFA's rankings - their highest place in 12 years - and have a core of British-based players like Wigan's Espinoza, who is not being fooled by those questioning Rooney's ability.

Asked if the forward was a world-class player, he smiled and said: "Yes, of course, of course.

"I've heard some stuff about him but they said the same things about him before. We all know Rooney, we all know what he is capable of and at any second he can finish a game."

Like England, this will be Honduras' last match ahead of the World Cup, where they will take on France, Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E.

La Bicolor have lost their two previous warm-up friendlies to sides that failed to make it to Brazil, Turkey and Israel, but Espinoza is not reading too much into that.

The 27-year-old, who joined Wigan last year, is more concerned with getting a positive result at Sun Life Stadium against an England side he rates highly.

"We are expecting the same style they play all the time," added Espinoza.

"They have great players, they play in a very dynamic way, are physical, technically good and direct.

"They have great players that are all wanting to win the spot in the starting XI. I think they are going to come out strong to try and win the game."

Source: PA