Wayne Rooney: just like Neo from The Matrix, says Saha
Former team mate resurrects internet meme and compares England striker to sci-fi hero
AS WAYNE ROONEY prepares for England's showdown with Italy at Euro 2012 one of his former team mates has resurrected an old and long-forgotten internet meme - by comparing him to Neo from the Matrix.
In the early days of the web it became something of a cliche for nerds to announce proudly to the world that "a lot of my friends say I remind them of Neo from the Matrix" in the misguided belief that they were a dead ringer for Keanu Reeves in a floor length leather coat and shades.
Usually their "friends" were badly mistaken.
However, Louis Saha is convinced that his former Manchester United strike partner Rooney is like the bullet-dodging sci-fi hero.
The ginger Liverpudlian may not have much in common with Reeves' character in terms of looks - although the hair transplant helps a bit - but his ability to predict what is happening around him is apparently similar.
In a column for the London Evening Standard Saha wrote: "Rooney reads the game like Neo in the Matrix and to score the goal that put England in the top spot of Group D was the sign everyone in the squad was hoping for — that with Rooney, England can win it."
The tone of the article suggested that French forward Saha had spent a fair amount of time watching action films since the end of the season. He was even moved to describe Rooney as "England's special machine gun". Apparently he "has been loaded and it could make a killer difference".
But Saha is not the only French footballer who has invoked dramatic imagery this week. Florent Malouda, the former Chelsea winger, conjured up fire and brimstone when he was asked about his side's 2-0 defeat to Sweden on Tuesday.
The player was so upset by the team's performance he refused to speak to the press immediately afterwards. He has now explained why.
"What I saw awoke some demons in me and I didn't want to express myself," he declared. "Because in the heat of the moment there was the risk of launching rockets and missiles. There are some things to sort out and sometimes you can really hurt someone with a comment that you make."