London (AFP) – England captain Harry Kane has given his backing to the honouring of former skipper Wayne Rooney in an international friendly against the United States next week.
Rooney, a record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England, retired from international football in August 2017.
But the 33-year-old, now based in the United States where he plays for Major League Soccer side DC United, is set to wear the Three Lions shirt one last time at Wembley on November 15.
“I think it’s great,” Kane said after scoring twice for Tottenham Hotspur against PSV Eindhoven at Wembley on Tuesday to keep the London club’s Champions League hopes alive.
Next week’s match will be called The Wayne Rooney Foundation International in support of the striker’s children’s charity, and England manager Gareth Southgate has named Rooney in the squad.
FA chiefs have faced accusations they are devaluing international football by recalling Rooney but Kane was in no doubt about having his predecessor as England skipper involved one last time.
“It’s a really good thing that everyone should be a part of. Wayne is one the greatest ever players to play for England, the greatest goalscorer to play for England, so why not give him the send-off he deserves?
“I’ve not spoken to Gareth (Southgate) too much about how he’s going to do it when we play but it’ll be great to see him again and I’m sure he’s looking forward to seeing a few of the boys.
“It’s a great experience for the younger players in our team. So I think everyone should get right behind it, and it’ll be a good send-off.”
And Kane said he would have no problems handing over the captain’s armband to Rooney should the former skipper come off the bench.
“He deserves it. He was a great captain for us. He was captain when I got into the squad. So if he plays, of course he’ll be the captain,” said Kane.
Former Everton and United forward Rooney scored 53 goals in 119 England appearances.
He scored 12 times for DC United after joining them in June following a second spell at boyhood club Everton, and helped them climb from the bottom of the league to the play-offs.
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