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Stoke striker Crouch: Rooney will thrive away from World Cup spotlight

Stoke City striker Peter Crouch is backing Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for a big World Cup.

Rooney has flopped in his two previous trips to the sport's biggest event, failing to score in Germany in 2006 or South Africa four years ago.

"The last two World Cups have been all about if Rooney stays fit then we are going to win it," Crouch said. "The pressure was ridiculous on him.

"But now we have other players in the squad - I can't even remember Rooney being mentioned too much in the lead up to this World Cup.

"I think taking a bit of pressure of him and letting him enjoy his football can only be a good thing."

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