The English press are, of course, focusing on the post mortem of Manchester United's 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter final first leg last night. And it is Wayne Rooney who is the focus of most of the headlines, with the likes of "Get Well Soon", "England's Worst Nightmare", "Pray" and "Roo-ins" are among them.
Paul Hayward at the Guardian, like most, speculates on the extent of Rooney's injury and comes to the conclusion that United desperately need him back if they are to have any chance of beating Munich in the return leg next week and lifting their 4th European Cup in May.
"Lothar MatthĂ¤us once joked that football is a simple game: 22 men run around for 90 minutes, he said, and then the Germans win. Manchester United turned this gag on its head in the 1999 Champions League final in Barcelona and last night Bayern Munich turned it the right way up again at English football's expense.
A winning German goal in added-time â€“ and an Englishman jack-knifed on the floor. Not any old John Smith, but Wayne Rooney, United's greatest weapon and England's best hope of ending a 44-year wait to reach a second World Cup final. Eleven years ago it was Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with the late fireworks and Bayern Munich players on the deck slapping the grass. For Germany's most illustrious club this 2-1 quarter-final first-leg victory produced the perfect transposition of that melodramatic night at Camp Nou.
A measure of Rooney's importance to club and country is that this potentially terminal defeat for England's champions was far less haunting than the spectacle of the shoo-in footballer of the year jumping like an electrocuted cat as his feet became entangled with those of Mario GĂłmez in the move that led to Ivica Olic's winner when the clock had passed 90 minutes.
Students of metatarsal breaks and will-he-won't-he-sagas were quick to add Rooney's pained reaction to the file of late-season calamities endured by senior England players. It took some of us back to an April day at Stamford Bridge in 2006 when the little terror pulled up lame in a United shirt and left the ground in tears. This time, he hobbled for a few paces before crumpling to the turf. After Olic had delivered his coup de grĂ˘ce, Rooney was shoulder-carried from the field and tried unsuccessfully to plant his right foot before being lifted down the tunnel."
Matt Dickinson at the Times was also keen to offer his assessment of the Rooney injury, as both United and England fans wait with baited breath for news today, describing the moment he turned his ankle at the Allianz Arena as a "pain felt by millions".
"As the Bayern Munich players wheeled away to celebrate their dramatic late winner last night and Manchester Unitedâ€™s shell-shocked defenders wondered what had hit them, one figure was lying prone on the grass near the halfway line.
Thumping the ground in pain, Wayne Rooney looked in clear distress â€” and millions of Englishmen shared his agony.
If this was a traumatic night for United as a game they might have sewn up early on was carelessly squandered â€” 1999 with a twist â€” then it became a pretty alarming one for the rest of the country, too, as they had to watch Rooney receive treatment from the United doctor and physiotherapist.
Not the sort of player to complain unless there is good reason â€” if there is such a thing as a â€śpain barrierâ€ť then Rooney had yet to discover it â€” he needed the support of both men to hobble off the pitch."