WORLD CUP 2010: The true size of the cross England star Wayne Rooney has to bear

09 June 2010 12:35
For a player with £35million in the bank, Wayne Rooney's choice of good luck charm seems incongruous to say the least. And not very expensive.

The 24-year-old England striker took to the training field in Rustenburg today sporting a huge crucifix and chunky chain, looking for all the world he was about to absolve his team-mates from sin having converted from superstar to the priest he once revealed he would have become without football.

In a chain gang.Wayne Rooney is flanked by Peter Crouch (left) and Frank Lampard

I could have been a priest, me: Wayne Rooney shows his Catholic roots

The origin of the crucifix, its purpose and what it's made of are unknown but it certainly catches the eye - and it's not the first time the Manchester United forward has courted controversy with religious imagery.

Four years ago he spearheaded a Nike advert with an England flag painted on his chest, infuriating church leaders and MPs alike with its biblical overtones.

Catholic lad Rooney also had a crucifix tattoo with his wife's name Coleen above it done five years ago and admitted last year he would probably have entered the church if he had been a good footballer 'because I always enjoyed religious education.'

Controversial: Wayne Rooney in the 2006 Nike ad that infuriated the Church and MPs

Trend setter: Cristiano Ronaldo had custody of the crucifix last year while on holiday in Sardinia before Rooney wrestled it back

Whether Rooney had an uplifting experience on the road to Rustenburg may remain a mystery forever - or maybe he just borrowed it from former Old Trafford colleague Cristiano Ronaldo.

The oft-diving Portugal and Real Madrid maestro was spotted sporting one of the ornate but cheap-looking rosary beads crucifix on holiday last year - but showing no signs of repenting for THAT wink, getting Rooney sent off in the World Cup quarter-final in 2006 and making our man cross on a grand scale.

And now he's cross on a grand scale yet again.

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Source: Daily_Mail