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The Three Lions' talisman has praised the captain's showing in their final Group D game against the co-hosts, hailing it as one of his finest on the international scene

Wayne Rooney believes Steven Gerrard's performance in their 1-0 win over Ukraine was one of his finest for England.

The captain delivered the cross for the striker’s goal, the only of the contest, after Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov had fumbled the ball.

Gerrard has now notched three assists so far in Euro 2012, and Rooney believes that the 32-year-old - who was handed the captaincy last month - has been key to the Three Lions' renaissance under Roy Hodgson.

He told the Football Association’s official website: "He [Gerrard] has been brilliant for us, he's leading by example and his performance yesterday [Tuesday] was one of his best performances in an England shirt.

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"It’s important that he keeps playing the way he is because he's a massive player for us. He'll be really important going into the knock-out stages."

A plethora of younger players were drafted into the England squad for Euro 2012, and the striker believes that this has had a positive impact on the atmosphere in the camp.

He added: "It’s different, there are a lot more younger players in the squad and they are mixing with a few of the senior players.

"Everyone is getting on really well, its a great team spirit, its more like a club team than an international one.

"If we can keep fighting for each other and keep working hard for each other then that's a good foundation for us to go on in the tournament."

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