World Cup 2014: Wayne Rooney defended by Robin Van Persie
Last updated on .From the section 2014 Fifa World Cup
Robin van Persie has defended club-mate Wayne Rooney as criticism of the England striker continues.
Rooney, 28, scored in England's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay but his performances have been questioned by football pundits and former England players.
"I don't think you can blame him for scoring a goal, working his socks off and missing three chances by inches," said Dutch striker Van Persie.
"Wayne is a great player and part of why I came to Manchester United."
Rooney's strike against Uruguay - his first in 10 World Cup appearances - came fewer than 24 hours before England's elimination from the tournament was confirmed by Costa Rica's shock 1-0 win over Italy.
The former Everton striker now has 40 international goals, but former United team-mate Paul Scholes said before the tournament in Brazil that Rooney may be past his best.
|England's highest ever goal scorers|
|Sir Bobby Charlton (106)||49|
|Gary Lineker (80)||48|
|Jimmy Greaves (57)||44|
|Michael Owen (89)||40|
|Wayne Rooney (94)||40|
Rooney's role within the England team has also been questioned, with manager Roy Hodgson employing him in a wide role during the 2-1 loss to Italy before reverting him to a more central position against Uruguay.
"If you look at his performances, the things I've seen and heard were very good," said Van Persie. "He played as a left winger, gave the assist for the 1-1 against Italy and played well as far as I know."
The Netherlands have already booked their place in the last 16 after beating champions Spain 5-1 and then Australia 3-2.