Wayne Rooney is England’s record goalscorer and is generally recognized to be the best player of his generation. On the 15th November, he is scheduled to make a guest appearance during the England v USA international friendly. Despite retiring from international football, he has been allowed a belated farewell performance at what is now billed as the ‘Wayne Rooney Foundation International’.
Wayne Rooney Will Get a Unique Accolade at Wembley
Rooney has featured in 119 England internationals and scored some 53 goals. For a lad from Croxteth in Liverpool who was often shielded from the media in his early days, he has had a stellar sporting career, both for Manchester United and his country and, in recent times, as a key player for DC United in the MLS. His ability as a schoolboy prodigy through to his 33-year-old skills in the United States point to his undoubted brilliance.
Boost or Distraction?
Since the announcement that Rooney will make a return to the England team, ticket sales have been boosted for what would normally be a fairly low-key match. But for some, the thought of ex-all-star cameo appearances belittles the whole event. And it could, to some extent, interfere with Gareth Southgate’s preparations for the Nations League game against Croatia that takes place a few days later at the same venue. No other player has been recognized in the same way but times change.
Timing will be a factor. In France, it is usual for someone to make a ceremonial kick-off at the start but that would not be enough in this case. And as many fans arrive late, the stadium could be half-full. Similarly, if he comes on too late, many would have left to get their trains home. So perhaps a ten-minute second-half cameo, on, say, 75 minutes, might be the solution. Cynics might wonder if the US team will back-off and let him score for one last time. But almost certainly this will be a unique accolade.