Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney should take up yoga and use a cryotherapy chamber in order to extend his career at the highest level, Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has advised.
Rooney has lost his place in the starting line-up for club and country after a run of form that has seen him score once in 13 total appearances in 2016-17.
Critics suggest the forward, who turns 31 this month, will never recapture his peak performances, but 34-year-old Defoe continues to shine in the top-flight and thinks he is far from finished.
Defoe suggested yoga, which was used successfully by Ryan Giggs, and cryotherapy – where players are subjected to sub-zero temperatures to aid their recovery – would both be worthwhile.
“Is age an irrelevance? 100 percent,” Defoe said to The Mirror.
“Ryan Giggs [who played until 40] showed that. It was well documented the things he was doing, like yoga and Pilates. Teddy Sheringham played until he was 40. I think Les Ferdinand was 38.
“I just think, if you do it right, if you look after yourself like I always have then you shouldn’t have a problem.”
Defoe believes the criticism of Rooney is unjustified given what he has achieved in a career that has already seen him break England’s goalscoring record.
He added: “It’s unbelievable. People obviously forget what he’s done and how much football he’s played. Look at his record – the highest goalscorer – it’s a little bit harsh in my opinion.
“Obviously there comes a point in a player’s career where you can’t get to the same level that you’ve been at before. When you set such high standards it’s hard to be the same.
“But people can’t forget what he’s done and the amount of goals he’s scored, not only for England but for Manchester United as well.
“At one stage, he was the wonder-boy playing for his country and now people are getting frustrated and the phones are burning. But he’s one of the best talents England have ever produced. It’s harsh.
“I’d say get him in the cryo!
“He’s 30 and some of the things he’s achieved in the game are unbelievable. He’s a goalscorer and when he gets the chances he can finish and he can create goals as well. But I’m not the manager of Manchester United or England.”