London, July 20 : Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is not surprised by Wayne Rooney's failure to fire at the Euro 2012, warning the ace striker to get used to the hype and expectation that surrounds him at the international level.
The suspension, which ruled Rooney out of England's first two group games in the Euros, plus the fact he went five weeks without playing any competitive football, were the reasons why the striker struggled, Ferguson said.
"If Wayne misses a couple of games it takes three or four games for him to get back. I always thought it would be difficult," The Daily Express quoted him, as saying.
Talking about the expectations on Rooney's shoulders, Ferguson said he has to learn to live with it, and pointed to the way Lionel Messi, and Spanish pass master Xavi, have answered criticism of their international performances in their own countries.
Ferguson said: "That is something great players have to live with - it is a fact of life. Apparently in Argentina, they have never taken to Lionel Messi. Don't ask me why, that quite amazes you.
"Then against Brazil he scored an unbelievable third goal in a hat-trick and that's a way of putting people in their place. That is what happens if you are a great player. People say Spain weren't the force they were and were criticising Xavi, but he produced that performance against Italy. He was brilliant. Great players have to deal with these things."
Ferguson is not sure if Rooney, who will be 27 in October, has peaked as a player, but says he has improved one area of his game - strike rate. (ANI)
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