Monday, July 24, 2017

Rooney puts points over caps landmark

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Sep 2016

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Wayne Rooney will not be distracted from the task at hand despite being primed to create another piece of England history in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.

The Manchester United forward will become his country’s most capped outfield player, making it 116 appearances on the international stage to mark Sam Allardyce’s first game at the helm.

But Rooney, who is England’s top scorer with 53, is more concerned about putting three points on the board in Trnava. 

“It is always an honour to represent your country, so to become the player with the second-highest number of caps is great,” said the 30-year-old, who will move clear of David Beckham and nine caps behind goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

“But [it] is about the team. I am sure one day in the future I will look back, but right now I am looking forward and that is all I am focused on.

“I have said many times I am proud to play for England and have been since I got in the team. But it is the start of a new qualification campaign so it is important that we get off to a good start.

“I think it will be a tough game because Slovakia are well-organised and will try to hit us on the break. Marek Hamsik and Robert Mak are real threats – two players who can hurt you if you give them space.

“We will have to be at our best to win.”

England were held to a goalless draw by Slovakia in their dismal Euro 2016 campaign, which ended at the hands of Iceland and led to Roy Hodgson losing his job.

Allardyce confirmed this week that Rooney, as under Hodgson, would be the captain.

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