Wayne Rooney reveals former teammates are jealous of England's success with Gareth Southgate

The former captain and record goal scorer explains that some his ex-teammates ‘can't come to terms’ with England's success

Sunday 18 November 2018 13:18
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Wayne Rooney: England career in numbers

Wayne Rooney has revealed that some former England stars are jealous of the success of Gareth Southgate‘s new look side.

After returning to the England set-up on Thursday for a cameo against USA in a type of unofficial testimonial, Rooney revealed that some former players from England’s golden generation “can’t come to terms with England doing well.”

“I know there are some ex-players who I’ve spoken to who can’t come to terms with England doing well,” Rooney said. “That is wrong. I’m not like that. I’m a fan now. I want England to do well. I am proud to have played for England so many times and I always have been. I’ve had my time. I am happy with what I’ve contributed to the national team and I look forward now to the next few years and watching this team progress.”

However, Rooney was quick to state his admiration for England’s new crop of stars who have brought enjoyment back to the game at the national level alongside Southgate. Jadon Sancho impressed in a starting role against USA and Harry Kane has ably taken over Rooney’s role as captain and striker.

“The team I played in had superstars, but this team has also got superstars,” the 33-year-old said. “Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, John Stones – one of the best centre-backs in world football. England have got great players and they’ve also got young players.

“I think this is a great squad, with other players who can come in if there are injuries. I have also seen first-hand that they are getting coached right, with good ideas, and the players are responding well to that. Hopefully this team can be the one to bring a trophy home.

Rooney retires as England’s all-time leading goalscorer and just five caps short of Peter Shilton’s long-standing appearance record. He was speaking ahead of England’s crunch Nations League tie against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday where a win and vengeance against the World Cup conquerors would see England progress to the semi-finals held in Portugal next summer.

“Everyone can see the potential in the team is huge,” Rooney continued. “They have come off the back of a hugely successful World Cup, but in a strange way I think the game against Spain will give them even more confidence than what they did in the summer. That was a massive result, to win away in Spain. To be around the squad, to see how Gareth is coaching, was great.”

“I’ve had my time. I’m happy with what I’ve contributed to the national team and I look forward now to the next few years and watching this team progress,” he added.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve got regret (over my England career). The main thing is that I can look back and say to myself I gave everything. It didn’t always work. It didn’t always pay off. But I have given everything when playing for England and I’ve tried to make us successful.

“Sometimes everything just isn’t enough. But no, I’ve got no regrets. I’ve had my time and it didn’t quite work out in terms of trophies. I’m happy with my international career and I’ll always look back and be proud of what I achieved for England.”

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