London, Oct 13(ANI): England midfielder Frank Lampard reckons that England striker Wayne Rooney is the only player since former legend Paul Gascoigne, whom he had seen motivating the team with the aura that they carry around them.
Lampard acknowledges that Rooney is always missed if he is not in the team - not just for his brilliance on the pitch, but also for his enthusiasm off it as well.
"Wayne has been like that since he first came into the squad. He is kicking and flicking the balls around, walking around and chatting to everyone as if there is not a big game coming up. He is a one-off. He is a very effervescent character and only certain players give you that enthusiasm. Some have it and keep it to themselves while Wayne gives it out to people around him," The Sun quoted Lampard, as saying.
"The only one I remember being like that, and I never played with him, was Gazza. He had that kind of bounciness around the hotel and the dressing room and it got people going. Some people can be nervous and, having Wayne come round to them to have a chat or make a joke is something that's very relaxing. I've met a couple at club level at various times in my career - but Gazza was the big one," he added.
Following Rooney's calf injury, which has ruled him out ahead of England's game against Belarus on Wednesday, Lampard said that a player like Rooney is very crucial for the squad and it will be difficult to find a replacement.
"He's quite a difficult one to replace. If you're not that kind of character and you try to be, it doesn't quite work. You're born with it. It's natural. He did it at 18. Some players are born to play for England at 17 or 18 like Michael Owen or Wayne," Lampard said.
"Other players, like myself, need 10 or 15 games to believe you should even be there. So, that is something we will miss," he added. (ANI)