Wayne Rooney: Harry Kane backs former England captain’s return for United States friendly

Harry Kane has thrown his weight behind Wayne Rooney’s return to the England fold for next Thursday’s Wembley friendly against the United States.

Rooney, Kane’s predecessor as England captain, will come out of international retirement for the final minutes of the game that is now being dubbed the ‘Wayne Rooney Foundation International.’

That game will act to raise awareness for Rooney’s foundation, promoting their gala dinner at Wembley next year, as well as raising money through bucket collections.


Wayne Rooney’s career in pictures





1/18 Breakthrough goal – 2002

2/18 Switch to United – 2004

3/18 On the international stage – 2004

4/18 The stunning goals continue – 2005

5/18 The red mist descends – 2006

6/18 First of many titles – 2007

7/18 European glory – 2008

8/18 Controversy returns – 2010

9/18 World Cup woe – 2012

10/18 Contract talks – 2012

11/18 Success continues – 2013

12/18 Record breaker – 2015

13/18 Switch to midfield – 2016

14/18 Mourinho era begins – 2017

15/18 Record breaker, again – 2017

16/18 European triumph – 2017

17/18 Return to Goodison – 2017

18/18 Retirement from international football – 2017

1/18 Breakthrough goal – 2002

2/18 Switch to United – 2004

3/18 On the international stage – 2004

4/18 The stunning goals continue – 2005

5/18 The red mist descends – 2006

6/18 First of many titles – 2007

7/18 European glory – 2008

8/18 Controversy returns – 2010

9/18 World Cup woe – 2012

10/18 Contract talks – 2012

11/18 Success continues – 2013

12/18 Record breaker – 2015

13/18 Switch to midfield – 2016

14/18 Mourinho era begins – 2017

15/18 Record breaker, again – 2017

16/18 European triumph – 2017

17/18 Return to Goodison – 2017

18/18 Retirement from international football – 2017

Despite criticism in some quarters for the gesture, which has been seen as “devaluing” the international game, Kane said it was “great” to have Rooney back.

Rooney won 119 caps and scored 53 goals for England – the most ever – over a 14-year international career. He represented England in six major tournaments. And Kane was delighted to have him back.

“I think it’s great,” said Kane. “It’s a really good thing for everyone to be a part of. Wayne was one of our greatest ever England players. He’s our greatest goalscorer. And so why not give him the send-off he deserves? Everyone should get right behind it. It will be a great send-off.”

Kane has also offered to give the England captaincy back to the man who held it from 2014 to 2017, so Rooney can wear the armband one final time. “Yes of course, he deserves it,” Rooney said. “He was a great captain for us. He was the captain when I first got into the squad. If he plays, of course he’ll be the captain.”  

Kane is 34 goals behind Rooney’s England record and if he keeps up his scoring rate then focus will move to whether he can one day make the record his own. “There’s still a long way to go,” Kane said. “But hopefully I can keep fit and healthy and score a few more goals. And we’ll see in a few years how close I am.”

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