Fabio Capello believes Wayne Rooney’s England team-mates can learn from the striker’s relentless commitment to self-improvement.
Italian Capello has ranked 24-year-old Rooney among the top players he has ever worked with.
“Wayne Rooney is one of the best talents I have ever coached,” said Capello. “He’s like Raul in that he is a very important player and a big talent.
“Every time Rooney trains he wants to stay on the training pitch for as long as possible.
“It is really important the other players see that Rooney, one of the best players in the world, wants to stay on the pitch and wants to continue to learn.”
Capello is confident England will do well in South Africa, but admits the team’s fitness is crucial to their campaign.
“The World Cup is a really big challenge,” Capello told the League Managers Association’s magazine.
“England are one of the best teams in the world and we can win against anyone.
“When you get to South Africa you are interested in the quality of the pitches, but also my most important hope is that all of my best players will be injury free and available.”
The Italian believes coaching at international level is unlike managing at club level, and feels the post of England manager comes with more expectation than that of any other national side.
“Obviously it is a very difficult job being a national manager, rather than a club manager,” he added.
“The pressure is bigger as England manager because behind you and the team you have the country.
“The country expects a lot and the fans believe a lot in the team. As a club manager you can work with your players every day, you can train to improve and study what happens – and why – in between games. You can react to things quickly.
“As England manager, I can do a lot of in-depth preparation and then there is an injury – and everything that I have prepared is for nothing.”