Rooney hopes England farewell starts new tradition
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The Three Lions record goalscorer would like to see someone like Spurs forward Harry Kane receive the same treatment in the future
Wayne Rooney hopes his England farewell could be repeated in the future for the likes of current captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.
Rooney will win his 120th and final cap on Thursday as a substitute against the United States at Wembley Stadium, a move that has sparked widespread debate since it was announced.
England’s record goalscorer said: “I think as a country obviously we haven’t done anything like this before.
“This is the first time and I hope that in 10 or 15 years time we’re sat here for someone, say Harry Kane, who could possibly go on and get the goalscoring record and it’ll be something which will happen again.
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“Of course it’s something different and I’m not asking people to agree with it. I think what is important, as well as that the game is going to go ahead and that I’m going to take part, is that there would be money raised for the children as well in the Wayne Rooney Foundation which is important to me.”
Rooney said talks with the Football Association about one last match have been ongoing for some time and that he turned down the chance to play his farewell game before this summer’s World Cup.
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“We were speaking probably for about 12 months about different ideas and there was an opportunity to do the game before the World Cup which I didn’t feel was right, I think it wasn’t the right time to do that,” Rooney said.
“We both felt it was the right time to do it (now), my season in the States is over, and it’s against the USA and it’s a friendly match before the lads play against Croatia on Sunday. We all felt it was the right time and the right game.”
The DC United forward has scored 53 goals in 119 appearances for England and last played for his country against Scotland two years ago.
He admitted it will be “strange” playing at Wembley once again but added: “It (is) something I am looking forward to.
“I had my first training session yesterday and it was strange getting in amongst the players at training.
“To run out at Wembley again will be something I will be proud of and it will be a special moment.”
And he stressed he is making no demands on England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of his farewell game.
“As I said to Gareth, whatever he wants is what I will try and give him. I obviously know this is the last (England) game for me and I’m not putting any pressure on,” Rooney added.
“I’m not making any demands, my message to Gareth was ‘you get what you need out of me and when you feel it’s right to bring me on that’s fine for me’.”
England skipper Kane recently revealed he will give Rooney the captain’s armband whenever the former Manchester United forward does enter the pitch for his farewell appearance against the USA.