England striker Wayne Rooney has apologised to the nation’s fans following their FIFA World Cup elimination.
After consecutive 2-1 losses to Italy and Uruguay, England needed Cesare Prandelli’s side to do them a favour by beating Costa Rica on Friday, but the Italians succumbed to a surprising 1-0 defeat.
Although qualification looked highly unlikely before Costa Rica’s win, the result confirmed England’s elimination with a game still to be played in Group D.
Rooney’s performances in Brazil were placed under huge scrutiny, though he has played key roles in both goals scored by the team in tournament, netting one and assisting Daniel Sturridge’s effort against Italy.
“Absolutely devastated to be out of the World Cup,” he said on his official Facebook page.
“Going into each game we had great belief in ourselves but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out.
“Sorry to all the fans that travelled and at home that we haven’t done better… gutted!”
Manager Roy Hodgson has been publicly backed by the Football Association despite their elimination, and the 66-year-old is confident they can make an impact at future tournaments.
He said: “We had high hopes, we thought we could make an impact, but we haven’t won the games. To make an impact you have to win games and we’ve lost both of ours.
“I believed the team, going forward, would be a very good team – there are a lot of good young players. Even against Uruguay we saw some good individual performances.
“But results colour everything. I don’t think there is any need to have doubts that this group of players will go on to do some good things in times ahead.
“The team is evolving and I’m proud of the way they have approached this tournament, everything they have put into it.
“We’ve worked so hard, we’ve done so much preparation for this tournament, we think we came to the tournament well-prepared.
“We had really big hopes that we were going to make the country proud by going far in the tournament, but we haven’t done that.”