Rooney outshines Beckham

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> David Beckham may have the glamour and the globally recognized name, but it's his teammate Wayne Rooney who has the soccer world swooning.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Lisbon :

David Beckham may have the glamour, looks and the globally recognized name, but it's his teammate Wayne Rooney who has the soccer world swooning. The teenager from the working-class city of Liverpool couldn't be further from Beckham's world of fashion, marketing, big money and paparazzi. Hero of the day With four goals in three games, he is the top scorer at Euro 2004, stealing the limelight normally focused on Beckham. He is also earning perhaps premature comparisons in the British press to Brazilian legend Pele. British newspapers have focused on Rooney all week. After his two goals in England's 4-2 win over Croatia on Monday, his image appeared on every front page. From Japan to Germany, Thailand to Spain, Beckham's face adorns huge billboards in the service of sunglasses, drinks and razors. Rooney has recently moved out of his parents' house in a gritty suburb in the northern port city of Liverpool to live nearby with his childhood sweetheart, fiancé and actress Colleen McLoughlin. With the photogenic Colleen, Rooney has appeared in a soft drink commercial and his face appears on packets of potato chips promoting Euro 2004. Bitter past According to tabloid newspapers, the police escorted Rooney and McLoughlin from a recent family party after their parents, cousins and uncles engaged in a drunken brawl. An oft-published photo of Rooney shows the portly player trudging out of the sea flanked by his chubby parents, with their heads simultaneously looking down at the sand. Winning touch He made his mark at 16, with a long-range strike to end Arsenal's 30-game unbeaten run. He beat Michael Owen's record as England's youngest pro player and then as England's youngest goal scorer. The price tag on Rooney's head has grown to 50 million pounds - a massive amount in the depressed soccer transfer market. That's double the amount Real Madrid paid for no less a star than Beckham last August. When he meets the press, Beckham, accustomed to fielding questions about his free kicks and endorsement deals, has been reduced to answering reporter's questions about Rooney. (AP)