Thursday 19 September 2019

Southgate agrees to Rooney 'farewell' game in Wembley friendly

Wayne Rooney in action for D.C United. Photo: USA TODAY Sports
Wayne Rooney in action for D.C United. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Rooney will be recalled by England this week to face the United States in a friendly at Wembley on November 15.

Gareth Southgate has agreed to allow Rooney a 'farewell' one-off appearance to earn his 120th cap for England.

Rooney is not expected to captain the side and it is understood that he will not start the match.

However, his inclusion is a huge surprise and will leave Southgate and the Football Association open to the accusation that they have devalued playing for England given it is a one-off and Rooney retired from international football last year.

The FA will attempt to compare the occasion to the farewell Germany granted Lukas Podolski, as he retired from international football after facing England in a friendly in Dortmund in March 2017.

In September this year Holland honoured Wesley Sneijder as he made his final appearance in a friendly against Peru.

Neither Podolski nor Sneijder were out of international football for as long as Rooney (33), who announced his England retirement in August 2017 after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

There is a strong charity element to Rooney's inclusion as it is hoped it will help raise around £500,000 for the Wayne Rooney Foundation, which helps various charities, including the NSPCC.

Irish Independent

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