Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Wayne Rooney returns to England squad for US friendly at Wembley

England striker Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney's last match for England was in a World Cup qualifier against Scotland in November 2016
Kristopher Love | 04 November, 2018, 19:17

Wayne Rooney is set to come out of global retirement for England's friendly against the United States later this month to mark his contribution to the national team.

The 33-year-old announced his worldwide retirement in August 2017, but has been in superb form for Major League Soccer side DC United, helping his new club earn a spot in the Play Offs.

Former Three Lions captain Rooney last played for England in November 2016 but will make his 120th and final appearance for his country against the United States.

Gareth Southgate and the FA have taken the decision to include him in the squad for the upcoming friendly, which will be live on Sky Sports Main Event, and it will be called The Wayne Rooney Foundation International in support of Rooney's charitable interests.

Rooney said: "I am truly humbled and hugely excited to play for England at Wembley again. I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and the Football Association for inviting me back and helping to support my foundation in the process", Rooney said in a statement.

Rooney, the former Manchester United and Everton forward, announced his retirement from global football in August 2017.

Including him against the U.S., so close to England's important Uefa Nations League fixture against Croatia a few days later, means that the occasion can turn into the "Wayne Rooney Show" and become a distraction.

Rooney remains England's most-capped outfield player and second overall behind goalkeeper Peter Shilton, with 119 appearances for the national side and 53 goals, breaking the record set by Bobby Charlton.

Although Harry Kane is the current England captain, he will give the armband over to Rooney for the special occasion. "It's fitting the match will be against the U.S.".

His last worldwide appearance was as captain in a 3-0 win over Scotland at Wembley in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

The team went out on penalties to Columbus Crew.