England boss Gareth Southgate says that “it was a privilege” to be involved in Wayne Rooney’s farewell.
England boss Gareth Southgate has said that “it was a privilege” to be involved in Wayne Rooney‘s farewell to the Three Lions.
Rooney was introduced in the 58th minute of Thursday’s 3-0 win over USA for his 120th and final England appearance, with the DC United attacker raising money for the Wayne Rooney Foundation in the international friendly.
Southgate has paid tribute to the 33-year-old for the way that he has conducted himself over the last week, and also hailed the attacker’s performance on the field.
“From our point of view, we’re talking a lot about what playing for England means to us, what wearing the shirt means and respecting the players who have gone before,” Southgate told Sky Sports News.
“I think all of the players have done that really well this week. We’ve given Wayne the tribute he deserves – a yard the other side of [Brad] Guzan to finish it would have been a fairy tale, but he’s probably had a few of those in his career anyway. You saw some moments of real quality from him with those through balls towards the end of the game.
“He spoke to them [the players] at the end and they would have noticed his humility. Given everything he has done in the game, he mucked in with the group, trained the same as everyone else, he worked in the five-a-sides and wanted to win everything he was involved in.
“In the game, he was tracking back and he showed what a top player mentality he has. It was a privilege for everyone to be involved with him this week.”