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By ESPN Staff

Maradona: Rooney is the new me

Wayne Rooney has the ability to lead England to World Cup glory next year according to Argentinian legend Diego Maradona.

It will be 20 years next summer since Maradona carried an otherwise average Argentina side to tournament victory in Mexico and he believes Rooney, with an excellent supporting cast, can achieve greatness in Germany.

'Back in 1986 I helped Argentina win the World Cup. Can Wayne Rooney do the same for England next year? Yes, no doubt,' the 45-year-old told the Daily Mirror.

'He has the same characteristics as me both as a player and a person.'

Maradona, a recovering cocaine addict, believes Rooney needs help to overcome his own demons, primarily his short temper which makes him a target for opposition wind-up merchants.

Maradona added: 'He is a great player, a powerful player but I do think he needs more guidance, more leadership.'