Rooney named England captain and fulfils 'dream'

Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:36am EDT
 
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LONDON (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 Sept. 3 and their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland on Sept. 8.

"To be named as England captain is a dream come true for me personally and, of course, for my family," Rooney, who has scored 40 goals in 95 international appearances, said in a statement.

"It is something I will take massive pride in doing.

"As a kid I always loved the occasion of watching a big England game on the television," the 28-year-old added. "Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country. Now to be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams."

Coach Roy Hodgson made the announcement at a media conference at Wembley as he unveiled his squad for the fixtures against Norway and Switzerland.

"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."   Continued...

 
England's Wayne Rooney applauds at the end of their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Costa Rica at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/Files