Manchester United's Rooney named England captain

Reuters, Thursday 28 Aug 2014

England
England's Wayne Rooney gestures during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Italy at the Amazonia arena in Manaus June 14, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named the new captain of England on Thursday.

Rooney, who succeeds Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, will lead his country in a friendly against Norway on September 3 and their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on September 8.

Coach Roy Hodgson made the announcement at a media conference at Wembley as he unveiled his squad for the forthcoming fixtures.

"I gave it a lot of thought but Wayne is an obvious choice," Hodgson told reporters.

"He deserves it - his commitment to the cause, his experience. He has captained England in the past and, of course, he has that responsibility at Manchester United now.

"I've had a long conversation with him and he's prepared to accept the pressures that the England captaincy brings. It's important that the player wants to take on that enormous responsibility."

Here are five facts about the 28-year-old's international career:

1) Rooney has made 95 appearances for England, scoring 40 goals and placing him joint-fourth with Michael Owen on the country's all-time goalscorers list, nine behind Bobby Charlton's record.

2) He made his debut as a 17-year-old as England's then-youngest ever player in 2003, coming on as a substitute against Australia.

3) Rooney scored his first senior international goal against Macedonia in the same year to become the country's youngest ever scorer.

4) He scored his first ever World Cup goal this year in Brazil, despite featuring in the 2006 and 2010 tournaments, in the 2-1 defeat to Uruguay before England bowed out without a win in the group stage.

5) The striker has captained England twice before and takes the armband permanently from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who retired from international soccer in July.

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