Rooney a cracking lad and player: Michael Owen

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London, Feb.23 (ANI): Former England star Michael Owen believes that fellow Manchester United strike pal Wayne Rooney is a both a " cracking lad and a cracking player."

The Sun quoted Owen, 30, as saying: "A lot of people relate to Wayne, the way he plays. That's why he's so popular - the England fans sing his name, the United fans sing his name."

Owen says he is now seeing a very different Rooney to the one he used to partner for the Three Lions - and knows his own chances have dipped as a result.

Alex Ferguson said last week that former Everton man Rooney, 24, is as good as any striker in the world right now.

Owen couldn't agree with Fergie's assessment more, and when asked, laughed and said: "Unfortunately for me, yes, because it means I get less time. But he's fantastic. He's changed his role in this last year or so."

"When I was playing with him with England, I would be the one scoring most of the goals, he would be in behind. But now we've lost the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo and someone had to take that on. He's been absolutely fantastic, his finishing is unbelievable - and his general play. If he continues like this, he will be one of the world's best," Owen said. (ANI)

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