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Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 13:30 UK

World Cup 2010: Wayne Rooney backed to control temper

Ferdinand on his injury and Rooney's temperament

Rio Ferdinand has backed England star Wayne Rooney to control his temper during the World Cup in South Africa.

Rooney was booked in Monday's warm-up win over Platinum Stars and accused of using "vulgar language" by the referee.

Official Jeff Selogilwe also warned Rooney he risks being sent off at the World Cup unless he curbs his temper.

But Ferdinand told BBC Sport: "Wayne's experienced now. His disciplinary record has been magnificent over the last couple of years."

Rooney, 24, was sent off at the last World Cup in 2006, dismissed for stamping on Portugal's Ricardo Carvalho in their quarter-final tie.

Phil McNulty Blog
If Rooney can blow up, however briefly, in a game of such minor significance, what might he be tempted to do when the World Cup is at stake?

And signs of the disciplinary problems that threatened to hamper the Manchester United player's early career reared themselves again in the 3-0 victory over South African club side Platinum Stars.

Ahead of the match, England vice-captain Frank Lampard had warned his team-mates that discipline on the field will be a key factor if they are to be successful in the tournament.

But Rooney appeared to become embroiled in a second-half spat with Platinum Stars' Kagiso Senamela before being booked for dissent.

Rooney, 24, apologised to the referee after the game but decided against giving him his shirt, as had apparently been agreed beforehand.

"I think the man was in an angry mood, because he didn't even give me his shirt, but I cannot blame him because he's still my player," Selogilwe told BBC World Service.

"He's still my favourite player, although I'm a referee there are players that I'm in favour of like Wayne Rooney and other England players as well.

"I was very much disappointed. I didn't expect a top top top player like Rooney to insult the referee.

"If it happens in that way, you are not going to see Rooney in the World Cup

"He is a good player when you see him on the TV, but when you see him on the pitch, he just keeps on insulting the referees.

"To me, it looks like Rooney insults people and fouls other players. If he insults a referee like me then he will use that vulgar language to other referees as well. I was very disappointed in Rooney because he is my favourite player."

However, Ferdinand, who will miss the finals after injuring a knee in training, added: "Being here [in South Africa] is magnifying things before the World Cup.

"It was a practice match not an official match. I don't see Wazza [Rooney] having a disciplinary problem at the World Cup at all.

"Since the incident in Germany, he's done so well to get to where he is now."

Rooney satisfied with England performance

Rooney's team-mates also rallied around him after their final warm-up game.

Rooney made a goal for Joe Cole and scored himself late on after Jermain Defoe had given Fabio Capello's side an early lead against the local side.

Tottenham striker Defoe, who scored the opener on Monday, said he did not see Rooney's temperament as an issue.

"If under control, I think Wayne's temper is a good thing," he commented. "He has that fire in his belly. If you take that away from him then he won't be the same player."

Meanwhile, Ferdinand said he has come to terms with his World Cup heartache.

The Manchester United defender was set to skipper his country at the finals, but a knee injury suffered in a training ground clash with team-mate Emile Heskey saw his dreams ended.

England's injured skipper Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand saw his World Cup dream ended early

"Leading out your country at a major tournament is the stuff of dreams and it was taken from under my feet," he said.

"I can't sit and sulk and cry over spilt over milk. It's disappointing, but I've come to terms with it now.

"I've got to get on with it. There's a lot more people worse off than I am.

"It was a complete freak, an accident. The ball came in from one of the lads to Emile, I'd gone to try and tackle him from behind - he didn't actually see me coming - we both went off balance and Emile's weight went down on my knee.

"It's no fault of his at all. It's just a freak accident that could happen at any given time and it had no connection to any previous injuries I've had."

Ferdinand will remain in South Africa to watch Saturday's match in Rustenburg before flying home for rehabilitation on his knee.

He said he would return to the tournament to support his team-mates at a later date, providing his rehab allows him to.

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has taken over as captain of Fabio Capello's team in the tournament.

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see also
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello angry with photographers
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Terry admits to altitude concerns
08 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Platinum Stars 0-3 England
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Barry to sit out England opener
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England call too late - Scholes
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
DeMerit warns US of Rooney threat
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Who are the champions? Second
09 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Who are the champions? Third
08 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Who are the champions? Fourth
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England reveal 2010 squad numbers
03 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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