28 Aug 2014

Wayne Rooney named new England captain

Wayne Rooney is the England captain after Roy Hodgson decided the 28-year-old Manchester United striker was the successor to Steven Gerrard, who retired from international football after the World Cup.

Rooney, who been the England captain on two occasions, will lead a new-look England squad featuring four uncapped players against Norway and Switzerland.
Hodgson said: “Wayne is an obvious choice for his honesty, commitment to the cause, his experience, the fact he has already captained England in the past. Now of course he’s got that responsibility at Manchester United as well. All those factors weighed into my thought process and I’m pleased to be able to say I’ve been able to offer it to him. I had a long conversation with him and he’s prepared to accept the pressures the England captaincy brings.”

Asked if he expected the move to spur Rooney on to even greater heights, Hodgson said. “I try to shy away from that. I think it’s dangerous to demand that of people. We see so often in the past it takes you on to a new level but with 95 caps and all the goals he’s scored, all the things he’s done, we’ve already seen he’s prepared to take responsibility.

“We hope he continues to push on, he continues to play well and he shoulders the responsibility of the captaincy as well as the other captains before him.”
Rooney is relishing the task awaiting him. “To be named as England captain is a dream come true for me personally and of course my family,” Rooney told thefa.com. “It is something that I will take massive pride in doing.

“As a kid I always loved watching a big England game on the television. Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. To be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams. I would obviously like to thank Roy and the coaching staff for having the belief and confidence in me to do the job.”

Rooney was backed for the job by Gerrard and will consult his fellow Liverpudlian before getting starting his new task. “I intend to speak with Steven about different aspects of the role,” Rooney said. “We had a great relationship from the moment we played together for our country and right up to our final game in Brazil. I am sure if ever I need to seek his advice he will be there to help.”

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