Sven-Goran Eriksson says Wayne Rooney's aggression is an asset

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Eriksson defends Rooney's fiery temper

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson says people should not curb Wayne Rooney's aggression as it is part of what makes him a world-class player.

The Leicester City manager said Rooney must be selected for the Euro 2012 squad, despite his three-game ban.

Asked whether he had ever tackled the Manchester United striker over his "red mist", Eriksson said: "You are afraid to take away what his strengths are.

"The power and aggression are important to him. You have to take that."

Eriksson was national boss when Rooney, 25, was sent off in England's 2006 World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal..

That marked the end of the Swedish manager's five-and-a-half year reign as England boss.

Eriksson said Rooney's behaviour had improved since those days, and repeated his call from five years ago for supporters to back the striker.

"I said it in 2006, 'don't kill him, we need him'", Eriksson said. "If he was perfect in everything it would be impossible to stop him."

Eriksson said he "didn't know if you could argue" with the Uefa decision to ban Rooney for the three Euro 2012 group matches for his kick at Miodrag Dzudovic in last Friday's 2-2 draw against Montenegro.

"It is a pity because it is Wayne Rooney. But it gives you a very fit and hungry player in the quarter-final," he said.

"Of course you have to take him. We are talking about Wayne Rooney. He could score the winning goal in the final."

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