Rooney ‘excited’ by England competition

30 Mar

Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney has not played since 13 February because of a knee injury

Injured England captain Wayne Rooney says the competition for places in the build-up to Euro 2016 is “exciting”.

England’s 3-2 friendly win in Germany on Saturday led to further debate about Rooney’s place in the team for this summer’s tournament in France.

The 30-year-old Manchester United forward is the Three Lions’ record goalscorer, with 51 goals in 109 games.

Rooney, who expects to be back in training within 10 days, told ITV: “I have never taken my place for granted.”

Goals from Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier secured victory over World Cup holders Germany in Berlin, with Tottenham’s Dele Alli named man of the match.

Tottenham forward Kane, 22, and 29-year-old Leicester striker Vardy have both outscored Rooney in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck, 25, and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, 26, are also contenders to start up front for England.

But boss Roy Hodgson has backed his captain to play a major part when he returns from a knee injury.

Rooney, speaking before Tuesday’s friendly against the Netherlands, said competition for places had “not always been there” in previous tournaments, when the team was “set”.

He added: “Now if everyone is fit, no-one knows. The manager can play three or four teams, different combinations. For the country it’s going to be an exciting tournament.

“It’s an opportunity for us to do really well. I want to be there and be involved and hopefully lead this team as far as possible.”

Rooney revealed that one of his sons has asked for an England shirt with Jamie Vardy's name on it<!–

Rooney revealed one of his sons has asked for an England shirt with Jamie Vardy’s name on

The average age of the England side against Germany was 24, and Rooney said it was important for there to be a balance of youth and experience in the squad.

“There are so many of them that have not been to a major tournament,” he said. “There’s a lot of young players.

“The likes of myself, Joe Hart and Gary Cahill can give them advice and make them feel more comfortable.”

England will face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B of Euro 2016, which starts on 10 June.


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