He may be out-of-form and out-of-favour but dumped England captain Wayne Rooney has no intention of retiring following his international axing.
Rooney, 30, will not start in England’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia on Tuesday after interim manager Gareth Southgate dropped the country’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The decision came on the back of England’s 2-0 win over Malta on Saturday, which saw maligned skipper Rooney the subject of boos at Wembley.
But despite finding himself on the outer for both club and country, having been axed by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho prior to the international break, Rooney believes he can still contribute at the highest level, pointing to Welsh icon Ryan Giggs as inspiration.
“It is something which I have to go through,” said Rooney, who has only scored one goal in 12 appearances for United and England this season. “I am big enough to deal with it.
“I believe I can come back from this. I am 30 years of age. I am not 35 or 36 where you are thinking: ‘Can you get back from it?’ I will keep working and I have said before that I will not stop playing for England and start going to Dubai for a few days in the international break.
“After the summer it would have been easy for me to walk away and say: ‘That’s it, I’ve had enough,’ but that’s not me. I feel I have a lot to offer and I’ve made that clear [to Southgate], certainly until the World Cup in Russia. That’s what I want. I’m not suddenly going to turn round and say: ‘I’m not playing, I’m not going to turn up.’ I will turn up when called upon and be ready.
“Ryan Giggs at 30 wasn’t the same player he was at 18 and he played until he was 40. There’s lots of examples out there you can use – players re-evaluate and work out the best way to move forwards. I’m sure that will happen with me. I am not naive in terms of thinking that I am still a 20-year-old. I understand that. My game is different to that of a 20-year-old, but I also think I have qualities that can help move this team forward.
“I’m not denying it’s a difficult moment but I have to show the right attitude, try to be positive and make sure I am supportive of my team-mates.”
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