David Beckham says striker Wayne Rooney is essential to England's chances at the World Cup because he "scares" opposition teams.
Doubts have been raised about the the 28-year-old as he is yet to score in eight previous World Cup appearances.
"If he doesn't score, he is assisting or creating or working hard for the team," said ex-England skipper Beckham.
"I think for opposing teams to see Wayne Rooney on a team sheet - that scares them."
Rooney, who has scored 39 goals in 91 international appearances, has played a part in each of England's warm-up games for Brazil 2014 following just over a month out with a groin injury.
Beckham believes the forward was a stand out performer for club side Manchester United last season, despite their struggles in the past campaign and ex-team-mate Paul Scholes' suggestion that Rooney could be "worn out".
"I always back Wazza because I think he is a great talent and a great player for England," said former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy midfielder Beckham.
"He turns up and always gives everything for England and I think the fans realise that. It is about confidence, as with all strikers, and the games I've seen of United this season, he was the shining light.
"He has always been more about just scoring goals. He is a goalscorer but he works hard for the team and that's what his game has always been about."
England have arrived in Brazil and begin their campaign against Italy on Saturday before further Group D games against Uruguay on 19 June and Costa Rica on 24 June.