The former England manager believes the Everton striker did not receive the respect he should have.
Wayne Rooney deserved to be loved by the English crowd just like Francesco Totti was in Italy, insists Sven-Göran Eriksson.
The former Manchester United striker retired from the national squad in August after scoring 53 goals in 119 caps for England. Yet, he was widely criticized for his performances despite his great record for the Three Lions throughout his career.
Eriksson, who was in the managerial position of England from 2001 to 2006, thinks that Rooney deserved more from the fans, comparing the Englishman to Italy legend Totti.
“The treatment of Wayne Rooney told me something about the way England fans view the national team,” the Swede wrote in the Daily Mail.
“He’s the record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England: you can’t argue with that.
“If Rooney had been Italian, he would have been loved like Francesco Totti was at Roma. You don’t criticise Totti in Italy. There might have been reasons to, sometimes, but you don’t touch him.
“It isn’t like that with Wayne and England but I can tell you that he had to be dragged away from training because he loved to play and practice so much.”