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National Sport

Wayne Rooney’s exits the England set-up with 120 caps and a legacy he can be proud of

The Wayne Rooney farewell fixture reminded us that there is still a bright future for England as the last of the Golden Generation fades away

On the 15th November 2018, England played the USA at Wembley, and Wayne Rooney, England’s all time leading goalscorer, played his final game and received his final cap. Rooney was subbed on
for Jesse Lingard in the game and in a symbolic gesture, Rooney received the armband, captaining England for the final time. Rooney has had a great career for both club and country, scoring a record of 53 goals in the England shirt.

The England Striker initially ended his career with 119 caps for England in 2017 but was given the opportunity to make a farewell appearance on Thursday. The F.A. saw Tthe fixture as an opportunity to honour his record-breaking international career. Whilst others opposed Rooney’s
inclusion in the squad, such as Peter Shilton who saw Rooney’s final game as a cap given
out ‘like gifts’. Some would say that Shilton is right; that Rooney didn’t deserve to be in the
England squad, and is in fact gaining an extra cap for the sake of it. However, Rooney is
one of the most decorated English footballers of our time and arguably deserved a farewell game to
commemorate his legacy.

Rooney had a few great chances during the game, a couple were from outside the box
but US ‘keeper Brad Guzan played the role of the party pooper stopping each of Rooney’s chances. It would’ve been great to see Rooney score in the white and blue one last time. It would’ve
been a fitting end to a great international career. Still, the game turned out to be a great win for
England in the long run, with three goals smashed in by Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and
Callum Wilson, the latter two marking their maiden goals for England.

The game was bittersweet with a great win, but also a great loss in Wayne Rooney. The
game was a metaphor for passing the torch onto the young players, of whom many are hopeful of
taking England all the way in the coming years. If this summer’s World Cup is anything to go by, it is sure to be an exciting few years for the international set-up.

Rooney has had many memorable moments in the England shirt such coming into the
limelight of English Football as a 17-year-old playing for Everton. Rooney made his
debut for England under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2003 in a shock 3-1 defeat against
Australia. But little did young Rooney know, this was just the start. Seven months later, Rooney
became England’s youngest ever goalscorer when he netted against Macedonia in a Euro 2004
qualifying match. Euro 2004 was dubbed the year England would go all the way, with
Wayne Rooney holding the weight of the nation on his shoulders; he was expected to spearhead
England’s ‘Golden Generation’ in a bid to end many years without international silverware. He scored four goals at Euro 2004, helping England reach the quarter finals before receiving an unfortunate injury. Rooney has been at the forefront of English football for
a long time, and he will never be forgotten.

To conclude, Wayne Rooney will remain as one of England’s greatest players; he
will be up there with the likes of Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Paul Scholes, the list goes
on and on. England has produced some of the best talent the international stage has ever
seen. It’s just unfortunate we never saw England win any major trophies during Wayne’s
tenor, but his legacy lives on and will hopefully inspire English players to go that one step further at future tournaments.