Rooney vows to be always available for England duty
LONDON – Captain Wayne Rooney has promised to always make himself available for England as the striker stands on the verge of becoming the country’s all-time leading goal-scorer.
With England having already secured qualification for Euro 2016 in France, it will be Rooney’s seventh major international tournament for his country and the 29-year-old Manchester United captain has no plans to stop there.
He equalled the goalscoring record of Bobby Charlton against San Marino on Saturday when he netted his 49th goal for England and is hoping to make the record his own at the Wembley against Switzerland on Tuesday.
Rooney, who scored his first international goal against Macedonia 12 years ago, insists his appetite to represent England remains as strong as ever and he is confident he can continue to lead England till the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I won’t be one to say I’m not available for selection. I’m sure it’ll probably be the manager’s choice more than mine. It’s a huge honour to play for England,” Rooney told reporters.
“I feel I’m capable of going to Russia. After that, it may be a realistic time to see how I feel and if I feel it’s not right for England or myself, I’ll have a decision to make.
“Or the manager would have a decision to make. If I feel I can carry on, I’ll try. But if the manager says he doesn’t feel I’m in his plans for the next tournament.”
Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson has backed 20-year-old midfielder Raheem Sterling, who currently has 16 caps to his name, to go on to play more than 100 games for England.
“It’s a big year for him. He’ll have a lot of big years: France in 2016, Russia in 2018, 2020 all over Europe, and (Qatar) 2022,” Hodgson said.
“At his age, he has plenty more to look forward to. I’m sure that one day he’ll be looking forward to sitting here alongside me with over 100 caps.” -Reuters