English former captain and record-goalscorer Wayne Rooney will pull on the England shirt for the last time on Thursday 15 November after being called up to the squad for a once off appearance against USA at Wembley.
Rooney, who now plays for DC United in the Major Soccer League, will be honoured by the Football Association ahead of the game after his record-breaking career saw him become the leading goal scorer for England.
Speaking ahead of the match, Rooney said he was excited and “proud” to run on again for the Three Lions:”To run out at Wembley again will be something I will be proud of and it will be a special moment.”
Rooney will be wearing his iconic number 10 shirt on the night but will not the start the fixture with all-time Manchester United leading goal-scorer set to come off the bench in the second half.
In addition to a guard of honour before the match, Fabian Delph, who will captain the side from the start of the fixture, has indicated that when Rooney is introduced as a second half substitute, he will be handing over the armband so that the striker can lead the national side for one last time.
Rooney scored 53 goals in 119 appearances in a career that spanned 13-years and will be using the match to promote his newly created charity the ‘Wayne Rooney Foundation’ with the match officially being dubbed ‘The Wayne Rooney Foundation International’.
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Whilst there has been some criticism towards the match, England manager Gareth Southgate has thrown his weight behind the gesture expressing his disappointment at some of the reactions to the game:” It’s been disappointing to see him have to defend his inclusion.”
“He is very different to run-of-the-mill players like me who played for England”, said Southgate. ” I spoke to the under-15s last week and they are so early in their development but he was around the senior squad when he was 17.
“I know a big regret for him was that the team didn’t get to where he wanted but when you look at the pressure he had to deal with individually, it is an incredible career.
“Hopefully he has felt that warmth from all of us and I know the reaction of the supporters will be very special to him.”
Kick off is scheduled for 20:00 GMT at Wembley and Southgate has promised there will be some debuts for the Three Lions which suggests that Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson will be involved.