It could have all been so different, of course, but that balmy summer would set the tone for Rooney’s worldwide career, coming so close yet always being left with a sense of what might have been.
WAYNE ROONEY is a player who has seen it all and done it all, from breaking Arsenal’s unbeaten run when he was a teenager, to lifting the biggest prize in European football, the striker has now announced his retirement from global football.
What makes global careers is tournaments, not largely forgettable goals in qualifying campaigns England probably would have been successful in any way.
Southgate said he would have likely included Rooney in the latest squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers had he not made a decision to hang up his boots for the national side.
HIGH – Earns his 116th cap in September 2016 to make him England’s most-capped outfield player. At the same stage at Euro 2012, he was little but a passenger as England exited to Italy on penalties.
Ronald Koeman will be hoping this retirement translates into even better form at club level for Rooney and lead the Merseyside club to success this season.
Following their Europa League tie, Everton travel to Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday. Striding into the England dressing room as Manchester United captain?
Rooney never progressed beyond the quarterfinals of a tournament with England and his struggles on the worldwide stage often saw him cast as the fall guy for his country’s inability to come close to adding to its solitary title in the 1966 World Cup. “That’s what you call loyal supporters”.
Rooney’s explosion on to the global stage at Euro 2004 as a fearless, brilliant 18-year-old still stands as his finest hour for England.
Following the worldwide retirement of Steven Gerrard, then-England manager Roy Hodgson named Rooney as England’s new official captain. He has been putting it in, he looks fit and sharp, and is scoring goals.
8 – Rooney’s best goalscoring year for England was 2014, when he netted eight, while his worst years were 2006 and 2010, when he scored just once.
June 27, 2016: Scores his 53rd and last England goal, opening the scoring from the spot as Hodgson’s side crash out of Euro 2016 with a 2-1 defeat to Iceland.
Despite serving as national team captain since succeeding Steven Gerrard in 2014, Rooney’s last England appearance was in November.
In his first squad selection since Rooney’s retirement, Southgate called up Leicester center back Harry Maguire and Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah in a 28-man group for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia. But he was also briefly extraordinary, frequently very good, and committed and useful to the tune of 119 caps.
History will cast Wayne Rooney among England’s greatest, let there be no doubt about that.