And he underlined how pivotal the forward is to England's hopes in South Africa by comparing the 24-year-old to former Spain international and Real Madrid icon Raul.
Although the 32-year-old Raul's best days are behind him, Capello was able to experience his qualities first hand during two brief spells in charge at Madrid in 1996/7 and 2006/7.
"Wayne Rooney is one of the best talents that I have ever coached," said the Italian, who believes the in-form striker has a key role to play in leading by example.
"He's like Raul in that he is a very important player and a big talent.
"Every time Rooney trains he wants to learn and wants to stay on that training pitch for as long as possible.
"It is really important for other players to see that Rooney, one of the best players in the world, wants to stay on the pitch and wants to continue to learn."