Glad I did not score in farewell game, says Wayne Rooney

Updated: 17 November, 2018 11:39 IST | PA Sport | London

Wayne Rooney expresses gratitude after final England appearance in 3-0 win over USA; reckons it was blessing in disguise not to add to his goal tally at Wembley

Wayne Rooney acknowledges supporters after his final game for England at Wembley in London on Thursday. Pic/Getty Images
Wayne Rooney acknowledges supporters after his final game for England at Wembley in London on Thursday. Pic/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney will cherish his final England appearance but revealed it was perhaps a blessing in disguise he did not add to his record-breaking goals haul. The former England captain, record goalscorer and most capped outfield player brought the curtain down on a distinguished international career with a substitute appearance in the 3-0 friendly victory over the United States at Wembley.

However, his 120th cap - a send-off which doubled as a fundraiser for his charity - was unpopular in some quarters, with some seeing the appearance as an unnecessary novelty. Rooney went close to bagging a record-extending 54th England goal but was denied by Brad Guzan.

The striker, 33, said: "If I did score it would've opened another debate over whether that goal should count or not. In some ways it's better it didn't go in. I think it's great the country, the FA are celebrating players who have left their mark on international football for England.

"It never happened in the past, which it should have. It's a newish FA, newish coaching staff. I think it's the right thing to do. It was a great touch for me personally."

Rooney, wearing the number 10 shirt, was brought on for former Manchester United teammate Jesse Lingard in the 57th minute and handed the captain's armband. Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and debutant Callum Wilson grabbed the goals in a dominant England display. There was to be no fairytale farewell goal for Rooney on a night that saw the DC United forward impress against the country he now calls home.

He said: "It went as I imagined it. The players have been great, seeing how they're working and I'm improving. It's been great for me. I want to thank the FA and Gareth for giving me this opportunity, and the players. Tonight was a great way to finish off my international career. It's something I'll remember for a long time."

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First Published: 17 November, 2018 10:37 IST

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