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WAYNE ROONEY'S interview with the Italian newspaper 'La Repubblica' saw him on unusually expansive form -- perhaps because it had been translated into Italian and back again:

At 26, do you still consider yourself to be in a state of evolution?

"There are many ways to grow football-wise. You go slow or are pushed to go faster; otherwise you get left behind. For me, there would be trouble in stopping learning."

Who is or was your perfect partner?

"Perfect partners don't exist. Perfect conditions exist for a limited time in which partnerships express themselves best."

You could have won the Puskas award with your bicycle kick against City: then Neymar won it with the goal against Flamengo...

"The important thing is to be there, score when needed. It's better if the goals are beautiful, better still if they are important."

How do you score a goal like the bicycle kick?

"You stop thinking with your head and start thinking with your gut. Just like when you bring a child into the world."

Irish Independent