Injured England captain Wayne Rooney is ready to fight for his place in the national team, insisting the increased competition for places has “excited” him during his time on the sidelines.
The Manchester United forward has been out of action since February after suffering knee ligament damage, meaning he was unavailable for the friendlies against Germany and Netherlands.
His absence has allowed others to press their claims ahead of Euro 2016, with Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scoring goals to help England recover from 2-0 to beat Germany in Berlin on Saturday.
Rooney feels the result bodes well for the future and hopes to be back leading a successful England side by the time
they get to France.
“As I’ve said throughout my career, I never take my place for granted,” he told ITV.
“It’s great that the competition is there. That hasn’t always been the case.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it. I cannot wait to be fit and get back out there with the lads.
“It has excited me. I want England to be successful and win trophies. Obviously, it’s great if I can be part of that. There’s an opportunity, I believe, to do really well in the summer.
“Obviously, the decision [over who is selected] is down to Roy Hodgson, but I want to be there, I want to be involved and trying, hopefully, to lead this team to success.”
Rooney – England’s all-time leading scorer with 51 goals – feels manager Hodgson is fortunate to have so many options to choose from, something that has not always been the case in the past.
“In previous tournaments, if everyone was fit, more or less the team was set,” he added.
“Now, no one really knows. The manager can play three or four teams, different combinations, if he wants. I really think we’ve got that quality.
“For the country, it’s going to be an exciting tournament. It’s something which I’m looking forward to and hopefully contributing goals to the team.”