“He’s an exceptional player, and if we’re going to go on and do well in this World Cup, players like Wayne will come to the fore, because that’s what they do. No matter how tough you are, if every time you read a paper or look at the TV and there are people debating your position, I don’t see that can be positive. Until Wayne pops up with a goal, the column inches will keep happening but it’s frustrating. We’re over-fixated on one player who has been our top scorer in qualifying and will break the England goalscoring record.”

"I think Wayne looks ready to show what he can do on the pitch. He looks very focused to me. I get on very well with Wayne. We never mention it. We just watch the other games in the hotel, have massages, have a joke. It was one of the masseurs' 50th birthday today, so we strapped him and volleyed a few balls at him, as us mature boys do, and that's it. It's light-hearted. That's how it is and Wayne is always at the middle of the light-heartedness as well."

“If you want people to do well I don’t see how you can keep focusing on one player rather than the team and say that might not be detrimental no matter what the ability of the player – whether it’s Messi or Neymar or whoever. You are making something so huge. It’s been coming over a couple of weeks. It doesn’t help.” The column inches will carry on going on about Wayne until Wayne probably pops up with a goal, that is probably the way of the world. It’s slightly frustrating when we are a group trying to do well. Players like Raheem are coming through and doing very well and we are slightly over-fixated on one player who has been our best player, our top goalscorer in qualifying and will break the England goalscoring record. We are putting a lot of negative stuff on him, that’s how I see it.”

"The manager will pick the best players and whoever plays, we want to win the game. If you take Wayne’s name away and look at the performance and the work rate and the assist for the goal, you might look at it differently. We are dwelling on something we don’t need to look for. It’s about a team performance."

"He’s been determined at every World Cup I’ve seen him play, every tournament, every game for Manchester United from afar I’ve played against him. There’s a lot of furore built up around him but I see the same Wayne. He shows his ability in training and in games."