London, Jan 3 (ANI): Ace Manchester United striker Michael Owen's World Cup hopes suffered when Sir Alex Ferguson told him that he cannot get him into his team.
Owen's New Year resolution is to earn more game time to bolster his bid for a spot in Fabio Capello's England squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The Italian has already sent out a stern warning to the country's top stars by demanding that they play regular club football to have a chance of catching the plane to South Africa.
That message must have sent a cold shiver down Owen's spine. And now there is even more bad news for the man who has banged in 40 goals for England, News of the World reports.
Last night his World Cup dream was delivered a potentially knock out blow as Ferguson admitted that he faces a straight fight with Wayne Rooney for a starting jersey at Old Trafford.
And in that showdown there is only going to be one winner - Rooney, the current, rather than Owen the former, golden boy of English football.
Ferguson said: "I am sure he would love to go to the World Cup, I don't think there is any doubt about that, a player with that history and goal scoring ability.
"He would want to re-enact what he did in 1998 when he had a great World Cup. It is difficult to leave out Rooney. That is the thing because I think Owen is identical to Wayne in the position he plays in terms of being further up the pitch, with Berbatov in the team."
"The combinations are more likely to be Berbatov and Owen, or Berbatov and Rooney. Rooney and Owen together, well then you have to have Rooney dropping in, I prefer him up the pitch a bit more, I must admit," Ferguson added. (ANI)