Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | ePaper

Southgate defends giving Rooney a final England appearance

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AP, London :
Giving England's record scorer Wayne Rooney a farewell appearance is coach Gareth Southgate's attempt to better celebrate the contribution of the country's soccer stars.
The 33-year-old Rooney will feature for a 120th England appearance during next Thursday's friendly against the United States at Wembley Stadium, despite retiring from international duty in August 2017.
"Those discussions started 12 months ago. We have an opportunity with the game at Wembley to pay tribute," Southgate said. "We have brought former players back to speak and present shirts. I think all the players respect Wayne's contribution and that he deserves the best possible send-off."
Rooney was one of 28 players selected Thursday by Southgate but the former captain will not play on Nov. 18 against Croatia in England's final UEFA Nations League game.

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