England striker Danny Welbeck says Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney is an inspiration to him for club and country.
Welbeck, 21, emerged as an important first-team player for United last season, and secured a place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2012.
The former Sunderland loan player, who is in contention for a starting berth in England’s Group D opener against France on Monday, has acknowledge Rooney’s importance in his development as a player.
“He’s fantastic and I owe Wayne a lot,” Welbeck said.
“He (Rooney) has been a terrific friend and a brilliant help to me. We have really forged a great partnership and he is amazing during a game.”
Welbeck claimed there is no rivalry developing between the two players, despite finding themselves vying for limited attacking roles at domestic and international level.
“I’m so lucky he (Rooney) wants me to do well and is always trying to advise what’s best for me,” he said.
“You can’t buy that sort of insight.”
“He knows what it’s like as a young player coming through in the (English) Premier League and with England.”
Rooney is suspended for England’s first two matches at Euro 2012 and Welbeck is hoping to get the chance to play a part for Roy Hodgson’s men.
“It’s really exciting – there are very exciting times ahead,” he said.
“There’s a few of us playing in our first tournament and we’re just taking it all in at the moment.
“Of course, I’d love to play against France – but we all would. We’ve got an array of talent across the whole squad and I think everybody’s just pushing forward to get on the pitch and show what they can do.
“It’s not just the younger members of the squad who are buzzing; everybody’s looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started.
“England against France is such a massive match; you can’t get much bigger than that in European football. It’s a huge rivalry.”
Following the game against France, England take on Sweden and tournament co-hosts Ukraine in their other Group D fixtures.
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