Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney admits he is hurting following a difficult last few months.
Rooney endured a miserable World Cup campaign before his personal life was splashed across the front pages of national newspapers with allegations he cheated on his then-pregnant wife, Coleen, with a £1,000-a-night prostitute.
The 24-year-old has also been unable to regain the form he showed in the Premier League last season and has scored just once so far, with that goal coming from the penalty spot.
And Rooney has conceded recent events have taken their toll in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News HD.
He said: “It’s obviously been a hard time but I just need to try to get back to doing what I can do best, and playing football the way I can do.
“I’m only a human being, I hurt as well, but I need to get through this and get back to playing football the way I can do and I’m sure everything else will settle down after that.”
Rooney was expected to cement his status as one of the world’s finest players at the World Cup, but instead he produced a string of disappointing displays and failed to score as England limped out.
And he remains unable to explain why he flopped so badly in South Africa.
Rooney continued: “I was in the right state of mind. There was nothing physically wrong with me, I just can’t see why I didn’t perform and it still puzzles me to this day, and it’s always, to me, going to be a mystery why I didn’t perform – not even to half the performance levels I know I can do.
“It was a poor World Cup. I know by my own standards I didn’t reach the form I would have like to in the World Cup. It’s frustrating and disappointing.”