- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Wayne Rooney knows how to get on the right side of his new manager at Manchester United.

With England already eliminated from the World Cup, Rooney is backing Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands to emerge victorious next month in the Maracana. The Dutch have already secured their progress to the round of 16 by beating Spain and Australia in Group B - unlike England, which opened by losing two Group D matches.

When Rooney was asked which team he’ll now support, the striker quickly replied: “Holland.”

United teammates Robin van Persie and Alexander Buttner also play for the Netherlands.

Rather than shutting himself away from the World Cup before club duties under the new boss start, Rooney will be studying Van Gaal’s management and the rest of the tournament from afar.

“I’m disappointed to be going out, but I’ll watch from home,” Rooney said Saturday. “I’m a football fan.”

- By Rob Harris - www.twitter.com/RobHarris



RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil (AP) - France midfielder Blaise Matuidi has so much energy that coach Didier Deschamps joked he even ran back to the team’s training camp after Friday’s match.

A few hours after the 5-2 win over Switzerland in Salvador, the French team flew the some 835 miles to its base in Ribeirao Preto.

“He didn’t want to take the plane,” Deschamps said Saturday. “He’s still running now.”

Deschamps captained France to World Cup glory in 1998 and the European Championship two years later. He was known as a tireless midfield runner himself, but even he is impressed with the amount of ground Matuidi covers.

“Even I have trouble following him,” Deschamps said. “I see him in the 6-yard box and then, straight away, he’s already in the opponent’s 6-yard box.”

The 27-year-old Matuidi scored France’s second goal Friday. He has four goals in the past six games after not scoring in his first 18 international appearances.

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