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Rooney fluffs his big chance. (But don't worry, it's only a video game...)

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12 Mar 2010 15:14:59

Rooney fluffs his big chance. (But don't worry, it's only a video game...)

With seven minutes of the World Cup final remaining and tournament favourites Spain down to 10 men, Wayne Rooney finds himself clean through on goal in pursuit of an equaliser. The crowd inside the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg hold their breath as the England talisman takes aim before striking his effort against the foot of a post. Head in hands, Rooney is left to think what might have been as Spain - and not England - are crowned world champions. At the double! Rooney scoring his second in Wednesday's 4-0 win over AC Milan Panic attack over. This is not a dark premonition that the Manchester United star fears will come to pass this summer. Rather, this is cyber-world Wayne failing to get the better of 21-year-old Matt Court on EA Sports' FIFA World Cup 2010 game. Thankfully, the real Rooney, wearing a T-shirt with the message 'The Real Thing' at the Coca-Cola sponsored event at London's Earls Court, is a lot sharper when it comes to football rather than a AFP-simulated version. Wayne's cyber world: Rooney hits a post much to the amusement of champion gamer Matt Court... He is even offered the chance to call it quits at half-time with the score goalless. Unsurprisingly, the natural-born-winner opts to play on before pulling the kind of grimace opposition players are all-too used to in the direction of what he clearly considers to be a sub-standard controller - always the expert craftsman, it must have been his tools. You get the impression Rooney would have been mulling over his missed chance on the way back home. In view of his current aerial prowess, he would have been better trying to get his head on it. ...and holds his head in disgust Looking relaxed on stage during a question-and-answer session, Rooney even revealed the reason why he has become such a potent threat in the air this season. 'I think the secret is it keeps coming off my bald patch,' he joked. And while the receding hairline may be a price he has had to pay for growing maturity, the effect a settled family life has had on channelling Rooney's previously uncontrolled aggression is obvious. ...before throwing his controller into the air 'Probably changing nappies is the hardest part and it doesn't get any easier' said Rooney discussing his fatherly responsibilities to four-month-old son, Kai Wayne. 'I've changed a lot over the past couple of years anyway. Becoming a father, you obviously have to change and be a role model to your son. I think I've done that.' Indeed, England could do with a decent role model given recent scandals. And if the national team are to stand any chance of lifting the World Cup in South Africa, Rooney will need to translate the kind of form that has so far brought him 30 goals for United this season to the biggest international stage. Gaze: Roo can look but you can't touch! The FIFA trophy is on a world tour as part of a promotional event and, standing just six inches away from the solid-gold prize, Rooney could have been forgiven for breaking protocol by reaching out to touch it. That honour is reserved for heads of state and previous winners. Rooney, 24, said: 'It's a bit weird standing next to the most iconic trophy in the world. You try not to think about the World Cup because you need to do your job. But it's hard not to. It's an honour to play for England in the World Cup. It's a dream.' It is a dream he has had since childhood. Michael Owen's goal against Argentina in 1998 is his fondest World Cup memory as a youngster and he said: 'It was a great moment. I was at my nan's house when I saw that goal. I always watched England World Cup games with my family.' It will be a few years before Kai can look back on dad's World Cup performances with such fondness. 'Kai's been to a few games,' said Rooney. 'He came to the match against Everton, the two teams I have played for and the team that he will support as well. I'm looking forward to when my son comes to watch me every week. It will be an amazing feeling and something I'll be very proud of.' Hopefully, dad with provide his son with plenty to look back on - perhaps the old man might even score the winner in the World Cup final against Spain. Father and son could even run through it on the games console, although Rooney Snr will have to brush up on his gaming skills.  Manchester United join rivals City in race to sign Nigeria midfielder Ramon AzeezAre Roo having a laugh? Manchester United star Wayne Rooney says receding hairline is key to success Why I'm backing the Glazers! Manny Pacquiao tycoon supports Manchester United's controversial owners MANCHESTER UNITED FC


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