Wayne Rooney's presence on a team sheet still sends a shiver of fear down the spines of the opposition, according to ex-England captain David Beckham.
Ex-LA Galaxy midfielder Beckham spoke to the media on Saturday after watching his former England team-mate turn in a less than convincing display in his national team's final World Cup warm-up game against Honduras, and his endorsement for the Manchester United striker was unequivocal.
There have been suggestions in the media that Rooney's place in Roy Hodgson's England starting line-up against Italy next Saturday is not assured, but Beckham is convinced the striker still has plenty to offer on the biggest stage of all.
"When opposing teams see Wayne Rooney's name on an England team-sheet, it still scares them," says Beckham, in comments appearing in several British newspapers. "I will always back Wazza because he is a great talent and a great player for England.
"It's all about confidence with strikers, but Wazza has always been about more than just scoring goals.
"He's a goalscorer, but he works hard for the team and that is what Wayne's game has always been about. If he doesn't score goals, he's either assisting or creating something for the team. He is a creator as well as a scorer," Beckham continued.
"Every time he has stepped out in an England shirt, he has always given 110 percent. When Wazza turns up, he always gives everything."
Beckham was then asked about the comments of his and Rooney's former United colleague Paul Scholes, who suggested the striker's best days may be behind him in a recent interview.
"Scholesy knows Wayne as well and has been around him more than I have," he added. "Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I thought Wayne was the shining light for United last season when the team struggled a bit."