England manager Roy Hodgson has named Wayne Rooney as captain for Friday’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley. With regular skipper Steven Gerrard suspended and vice-captain Frank Lampard ruled out due to a knee injury, Hodgson has opted to give the armband to Manchester United striker Rooney.
Rooney has previously captained England once before for a friendly defeat against Brazil in Doha in 2009, but this will be his first competitive match as skipper.
Hodgson’s decision to pick Rooney ahead of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart — regarded as the only other serious candidate for the role — makes it a double celebration for the 26-year-old as it comes just a day after it was revealed his wife Coleen is expecting the couple’s second child. “It’s a great honour,” Rooney said at a pre-match press conference yesterday. “It’s a big challenge, I’m really looking forward to it.”
San Marino trivia
>> They are listed joint 207th in the Fifa rankings with only Turks & Caicos Islands below them.
>> The population of San Marino is just over 31,000, which would fit inside Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium.
>> San Marino have lost 108 of their 114 games.
>> Manager Giampaolo Mazza is a PE teacher in San Marino.
>> Armenia vs Italy
>> Belarus vs Spain
>> Holland vs Andorra
>> Ireland vs Germany
>> France vs Japan
>> Argentina vs Uruguay