Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned his side to be wary of Everton forward Wayne Rooney, ahead of their Saturday afternoon clash in the Premier League. The former Manchester Unitedcap has been in a rich vein of form of late - scoring six goals and providing two assists in his last five matches for Sam Allardyce's rejuvenated Toffees.
Speaking ahead of the big game, via Sky Sports, Conte singled out Rooney as the key threat facing his side. The former Juventus manager said: "We must pay great attention because I think Wayne Rooney is a player who, when he plays, plays with his soul. You can see this during the game.
"It's not simple to make this decision. To stop your career with the national team is not easy, not easy. I'm sure his heart is a bit broken by this decision. Only the player understands when the moment is arriving to say 'stop' when it comes to playing for the national team. We must have great respect for this decision."
Conte went on to discuss the question of when is the right time for a player to retire, and claimed that the physical signals were the key reason behind his decision to call time on his playing career. Conte said:
"I stopped my career at the age of 35 because I understood that my legs, especially my legs, didn't support me.
"My head and my heart and my soul, yes, wanted to continue. But my legs didn't support me.When you wake up and you feel the pain in your knee, in your back, in your head, in your neck... when you realise this, you start to think, 'this moment has arrived'.
"Especially when you start your career very young. My first appearance was when I was 16 years old. When you start early, usually you finish early."