Wayne Rooney could return for England despite international retirement - Gareth Southgate

GARETH SOUTHGATE has refused to rule out a sensational World Cup return for Wayne Rooney.

Posted Friday, August 25, 2017 by Dailystar.co.uk

Wayne Rooney could return for England despite international retirement - Gareth Southgate
Wayne Rooney could return for England, says Gareth Southgate

The Everton star might have called time on his international career but England boss Southgate reckons a rejuvenated Rooney could yet force his way back into his plans for Russia.

For now he’ll have to do without England’s all-time record goalscorer but the Three Lions boss insisted he wouldn’t be too proud to ask the question.

Southgate said: “I think you’ve got to respect his decision and the thinking behind it. But have I seen players change their minds? Well yes, I think we all have.

"The real questions are hard enough without the hypothetical ones. I suppose that we have to see where he was at, where the squad was at, where everything else was at. It would be foolish to say no because anything is possible.”

Southgate named his squad for the World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovakia, with Rooney the big absentee after calling time on his England career after 119 caps and 53 goals.

He believes Rooney deserves to go alongside the legends of the English game and revealed there is a move to acknowledge his international contribution, maybe even with a Wembley send-off.

Southgate said: “I think there should definitely be some kind of recognition and whatever that looks like should be for the FA to decide.

"A match at Wembley? It’s never been done before and we have obviously had World Cup winners before.

"So other people have to make the decision but absolutely we should be recognising his career with England and showing appreciation.

"I know already there is discussion around that and discussion about how we may keep him involved with England.”

Southgate said the fact that Rooney hadn’t won anything with England should not tarnish his legacy.

He added: “I guess people have that debate about Messi, because he has not won a World Cup. We are talking about that level of player.

"I think we are talking about greats within their own country. We cannot compare ourselves to Brazilians or Germans, but Wayne has done pretty much everything else.

"If that hasn’t been the case with England, I think that’s been more a failing of the team than him as an individual.

"Because he’s consistently scored, consistently carried the fight, consistently put himself there, even under the most intense scrutiny and criticism.

"There’s always a debate. I think greats across any era would have been greats. Would Wayne have got in the World Cup team in 1966? I don’t know.

"But what are the facts? The fact is he is our record goalscorer - more goals than Bobby Charlton, more than Gary Lineker.

"How is Gary viewed? How is John Barnes viewed? In my eyes they are legends of the English game, for many different reasons. And I think Wayne is in that category.”



[PICTURE SPECIAL] Atalanta 1 - 2 PSG

Thursday August 13 2020

PSG training for Atalanta

Wednesday August 12 2020

PICTURE SPECIAL: Wolves 0-1 Sevilla

Wednesday August 12 2020

Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website.7M does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.