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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

'I'll be proud to break Beckham's record' - says Rooney after confirming England retirement date

The Manchester United attacker confirmed that he will finish his international career after the 2018 World Cup.

England captain Wayne Rooney.
England captain Wayne Rooney.

WAYNE ROONEY IS “proud” to have been given the chance to become England’s all-time most-capped outfield player by new manager Sam Allardyce.

If Rooney plays against Slovakia in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier he will make his 116th England appearance, moving ahead of David Beckham and trailing only goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

The Manchester United attacker said reaching the landmark will be a “huge honour”, but stressed he is still focused on trying to win with England after confirming he will retire from international football following the 2018 World Cup.

“It’ll be a proud moment and every time I’ve played with England I’m proud to do so and it’s a huge honour,” Rooney said.

“To do it more times than an outfield player will be great but it’s about trying to win and that’s what I’ll be trying to do for the next two years.

“It’s important [to be captain] but whether I was captain or not I was going to be available for selection and I would be the same around the training camp.

“It’s a huge honour to captain your country and I’m grateful to Sam for the opportunity to continue.”

Allardyce has indicated Rooney will be used as a forward during his reign, rather than in midfield where he played for Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016, but the skipper said he is happy to play wherever he is needed.

“Obviously it’s the manager’s decision and we haven’t really spoken about it so we will in the next few days,” Rooney said. ”I’m ready to play whether it’s as a midfielder, as a number 10, or as a striker.

“It’s only a day we’ve been together but you can see [Allardyce] is a relaxed guy and since we’ve been here the camp has been good.

“We’ve only had one training session so it’s a matter of seeing what ideas he brings, but the players are excited and this week we’ll have a better idea of how he wants us to play on Sunday.

“I think if he gets the best out of the players we’ve got then we’ll do well, because the ability and talent is there, it’s a matter of us doing well in the tournaments. We’ve lost one in about 14, 15 qualifiers and we’re not that far away.”

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