Since the initial shock at the beginning of the month that Wayne Rooney might be making his last run for England, attention has centred around the country’s record goalscorer. How long would Rooney play for? Will he be wearing the captain’s armband during the match? And is it right that he received another cap? Let’s take a look at Wayne Rooney’s final appearance for England and answer all the questions in the process.
“It’s been sensational having him around this week, providing those bits of glory,” Gareth Southgate stated before kick-off. Wayne Rooney clearly had a positive impact on Gareth’s young squad during training where he managed to present England shirts to three players who made their international debuts for the team on Thursday.
Wayne Rooney had to wait until the second half of the match to wear his England shift for the 120th time. However, prior to the start of the match, Rooney walked his sons through the prestigious guard of honour where he received some silverware from Greg Clarke and Henry Kane. There were more than 60,000 fans in the stands, and every single one was on their feet as Wayne saluted the massive crowd before the start of the National anthems.
Wayne Rooney was all jokes and smiles with Henry Kane during the game, and there was plenty for the 33-year-old football player to enjoy during the first half of the match as the new generation of players showed off their skills, including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jadon Sancho. Rooney didn’t have to wait too long during the second half to be called by Southgate, allowing him to step onto the Wembley turf for the last time with just under an hour left on the clock.
Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson entered the match at the same time, but it was Rooney that got the fans up on their feet, chanting his name while passing the captain’s armband. Wayne Rooney took his place alongside Callum Wilson, and Sancho in England’s front three and immediately searched for the striker with a striving ball which was unfortunately cut out.
During the 69th minute, there was also an interruption where an over-eager fan managed to run up to Rooney to give him a hug. However, once the fan was escorted off the field, Rooney was back in the game where he received a pass from Sancho followed by a tame shot towards goal. He certainly didn’t see the ball as much as he wanted to, but every time he touched the ball it was pure quality. Rooney received his best chance for a goal during the 91st minute mark, but unfortunately, the low shot was too comfortable and central for the goalkeeper. Rooney obviously knew he should have done better and smiled.
Shortly thereafter, the full-time whistle blew which brought the end of Wayne Rooney’s international career which was the second time for the outstanding player. As he walked off the pitch, Rooney made jokes with the goalkeeper with handshakes and hugs all around while the crowd gave him an applause along with a pat on the back from Gareth Southgate.