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Chelsea defender as tough to play against as AC Milan legend, says Man Utd striker

PUBLISHED: 08:33 10 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:21 10 October 2012

England's Wayne Rooney celebrates with former England captain John Terry. Photo credit: PA wire

England's Wayne Rooney celebrates with former England captain John Terry. Photo credit: PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Wayne Rooney believes that John Terry is as good as Italian legend Paolo Maldini and accepts that the absence of the Chelsea defender from the England side leaves a big hole for others to fill.

The Blues skipper announced his retirement from international football last month on the eve of his FA disciplinary hearing which subsequently found him guilty of using racist language towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League game at Loftus Road last season.

Yesterday the national side met up for the first time since Terry called time on his Three Lions career as they begin a new era, preparing for the World Cup qualifying double-header against San Marino and Poland.

“He was fantastic for us” Rooney said. “JT is an old-fashioned centre-half, who is not afraid to get his foot in.

“Together with Paolo Maldini, he was one of the two toughest defenders I have played against

“He has made his decision to retire and we have to respect it.

“But he will be a loss to us.”

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