Manchester United ace Wayne Rooney must beat the Nike curse if he is to succeed at the World Cup.

It is now 11 hours in an England shirt since Rooney last scored - and perhaps Nike's influence cannot be discounted.

The core characters in Nike's advert have, to date, had an ill-starred World Cup, says the Independent.

Ronaldinho did not even arrive and Franck Ribéry is already home. Didier Drogba came into the tournament with a broken arm and looks like leaving at the group stage. Fabio Cannavaro, whose last act before coming to South Africa was to signal his retirement from high-level football when he agreed a move to the United Arab Emirates, could be making a similarly early exit.

Which leaves Rooney, and his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, of Portugal.