Wayne Rooney to captain England in farewell friendly match against the USA

Wayne Rooney to captain England in farewell friendly match against the USA”

Gareth Southgate will be true to his word in pledging to continue England's evolution - despite the return of Wayne Rooney - by giving debuts to three players in tonight's friendly against the United States at Wembley.

'No, when I first came into the England setup Wayne was captain and he welcomed me, put his arm around me and made me feel at home.

"The senior players discussed it. Harry came to see me and said: "Look, we don't think it would be right for him to come on wearing a shirt he hasn't worn", said Southgate, who calls Rooney the best England striker he ever played with.

Wayne Rooney believes he left Manchester United at the right time, even though he wanted to finish his career at Old Trafford.

"As soon as he comes on, I will give him the armband back. It will be a huge night for Wayne and we want to make it special for him".

After displaying improvement with the famous 5-1 triumph over Germany, the Swede's tenure ended without reaching further than a quarter-final at a major tournament. We have spoken a lot about doing things our own way, we did that right through the summer.

Rooney came to Wembley on the eve of the match to soak up the surroundings ahead of his final appearance for England, with the team flexing their collective muscle to ensure he got the send-off that he deserves.

Southgate also addressed some of the criticism over the decision to include Rooney in the squad for a farewell appearance.

The former club captain departed for boyhood side Everton in July previous year after struggling to find regular first-team football under Jose Mourinho, before leaving England to join DC United in June.

"The more important thing is that within the England group we value what he has done, when you are in the dressing room and share the dressing room with someone you know. The money will be raised for children's charities, which I think is really important", Rooney said. He was at the front and centre of England from the age of 17.

"We've played young players in the World Cup and we have played young players in the match [against Spain] in Seville last month. The competition for places is really intense and we need that".

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