Return for Rooney?

Should England's all time top goalscorer get a farewell game?


Rooney comeback 'makes a complete mockery of football'

Wayne Rooney's farewell appearance "makes a complete mockery of international football," according to former England international Chris Sutton.

The DC United striker is set to come out of international retirement for one last appearance for the Three Lions, which would earn him his 120th cap.

The match against the United States on November 15 will be called the 'The Wayne Rooney Foundation international' and will raise money for his charity.

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Should Wayne Rooney be given one last England cap?

By Joe Harker

England's all time top goalscorer Wayne Rooney will come back for one last game in a friendly against the USA on November 15. The match will be called the "Wayne Rooney Foundation International" and proceeds will help support his charity. The FA have called it an opportunity to "honour" Rooney's international career, but many have criticised the decision.

Chris Sutton said Rooney's recall made a "mockery" of international football, suggesting it is a "patronising" way to say goodbye to England's all time top goalscorer. He also suggested that it flew in the face of the principles Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate has pursued.

Alan Shearer wondered why England couldn't just invite him to the friendly as a guest. Pointing out that England have never done this with anyone else, he questioned why a player who retired from international football 15 months ago was being invited back for one final game.

The Daily Telegraph's Jason Burt wrote that it sent out the wrong message, while the BBC's Phil McNulty asked whether it cheapened an England cap.

Southgate has been clear that he will not hand out caps unless a player fits into his plans and Rooney has not been part of those plans for a long time. Those opposed to giving Rooney one last game have argued that the friendly is a good chance for the manager to develop his squad for the future, including an old player who is no longer good enough blocks a chance another player might have had.

However, there are others who believe it is a nice gesture and cheapens nothing. Oliver Kay of The Times argues that Rooney's inclusion gives meaning to what would otherwise be a meaningless friendly. It's not some slap in the face to the players hoping to get a place in the squad.

It's one friendly to raise money for charity, not some deviation from Southgate's grand plan of giving younger players chances and building a team for the future. England aren't throwing away a qualifier or a Nations League game to give Rooney one last game, they can spare one game for their top goalscorer.

Having a retiring player feature in what is essentially a testimonial match is not new to international football. Southgate's first game with the senior team was a farewell game for Germany's Lukas Podolski. It was a friendly game and a chance to say goodbye to a player who made 130 appearances for his national team, what's so bad about Rooney getting something similar?

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Daily Telegraph

England to recall Wayne Rooney for one-off 'farewell' appearance against USA in Wembley friendly

Wayne Rooney has been awarded a remarkable recall to the England squad and will play in the forthcoming friendly against the United States at Wembley on Nov 15.

The Football Association were forced into a hurried announcement that Rooney will earn a 120th "farewell" cap after news leaked out about the unusual and controversial plan. The 33-year-old will not captain England for the fixture, and is not expected to start the match, but it calls into question both the judgement of the FA and Gareth Southgate.

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