Saturday 22 October 2016

Rooney: England career not on the Wayne just yet

Published 04/04/2016 | 09:26

Wayne Rooney intends to lead England at Euro 2016
Wayne Rooney intends to lead England at Euro 2016

England captain Wayne Rooney insists he "still has a few years left" at international level despite the form of his striking rivals.

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Manchester United forward Rooney has been out with a knee injury since February and has watched on as Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have staked their claims for Euro 2016.

Both scored in the 3-2 friendly victory over Germany last weekend while Vardy added another in the Three Lions' 2-1 defeat by Holland on Tuesday.

Tottenham striker Kane is currently top of the Barclays Premier League scoring charts with 22 while Leicester forward Vardy is second on 19 and questions have been raised over Rooney's place in Roy Hodgson's starting XI in France this summer.

However the 30-year-old, England's all-time record goalscorer, believes he is still capable of performing at the highest level.

"I've still got a few years left, I feel," said Rooney, speaking to the PFA's 4 The Player magazine.

"I'll keep trying to, first and foremost, help the team be successful and if I can score the goals to help achieve that then that'll be great.

"Over the last two years my form for England has been really good, I've scored a lot of goals.

"It's a young team and obviously as captain you want to get a strong bond between everyone and I really feel there is that at the moment, everyone gets on really well.

"There isn't a massive age gap from the oldest to the youngest player - I think us and Holland were the youngest teams going through qualifying - and I think that shows and helps the younger lads relax around everyone.

"You have myself, Joe Hart, Gary Cahill who are a little bit older and are there to help with anything but we're all together all the time and I think the squad is in a very good place right now."

Rooney burst onto the international scene at Euro 2004, scoring four goals before a metatarsal injury put paid to his - and England's - hopes against Portugal in the quarter-finals.

The former Everton striker admits his game, and temperament, has changed since his teenage years.

He said: "I think I'm a different player now to what I was then so I don't compare myself - I'm always just thinking about what comes next and making sure I'm at my best for the summer.

"I feel I'm a lot more patient now in my play, when I was younger I could be impatient and I'd end up in positions I didn't really need to be in."

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