Shearer believes deploying someone like Saints playmaker Adam Lallana behind Daniel Sturridge would offer Rooney the chance to shine in his preferred deeper central role and finally make a mark on the World Cup.
"It is a gap in the story of his career which he would like to fill, but he probably hasn't yet gone to a World Cup in the best of fitness and you can't argue with his record at international level overall," said Shearer, who scored 30 goals from 63 England caps.
"Wayne has got 38 goals for England, he is only 11 short of Bobby Charlton's record, and I think he will go on to break it.
"But he needs to go out and have a big tournament with England, and if does that, he will be the key to us having a successful World Cup. When Rooney plays well, England play well.
"I am a fan of Rooney, I think he ticks all the boxes as a player, but for him to be put in the same bracket as Messi or Ronaldo, he needs to have a great tournament in Brazil - although having said that, Messi has yet to set the place on fire at a World Cup as well."
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