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Sunday 11 December 2016

David Beckham: 'Wayne Rooney is not finished yet but he has to adapt his game'

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney celebrates his first Premier League goal of the season in the win over Sunderland
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney celebrates his first Premier League goal of the season in the win over Sunderland

David Beckham has warned Wayne Rooney's critics they will soon be made to eat their words.

Although they did not play together at Manchester United, Beckham and Rooney have been close friends for many years due to their involvement with England.

Beckham was captain when Rooney made his international debut 12 years ago and the pair went on to play at two major tournaments together.

Rooney became England's record goalscorer last month, but his form at United has not been great this season.

The 29-year-old has found the net just once in the Barclays Premier League, but that does not mean he is a fading force, according to Beckham.

"I don't think you can ever write off a player that's scored the number of goals he has for England and Manchester United," said the former United midfielder, who was speaking at a press conference to publicise a charity match for UNICEF that he is playing in at Old Trafford.

"Being the player he is and has been over the years, you can never write off someone like that.

"Players like that can always make you eat your words."

Rooney started the season as United's main striker, but Louis van Gaal has shifted his skipper into the number 10 role since Anthony Martial joined from Monaco.

The United manager deployed Rooney as a central midfielder at times last term, and that is where Beckham believes the England captain is destined to end his career.

Beckham said: "I think when you get older, you have to adapt your play. Ryan Giggs was a prime example.

"He got to a certain age and then he dropped into midfield a lot more and played that central role. I think Wayne will do the same.

"He's an out-and-out goalscorer, but I think at the end of the day with Wayne, he's proved he can step into the midfield and play.

"If you're comfortable on the ball, as players such as Wayne and Giggsy are you can do that."

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