Wayne Rooney’s England farewell match against the US men’s national team on Thursday (3 pm ET | ESPN2, UniMás) should be special.
After some deliberation, it has been decided that Rooney will be given the captain’s armband whenever he enters off the bench and will also receive a guard of honor. Manchester City’s Fabian Delph will captain his country for the first time, but is adamant that his milestone will be cut short whenever Rooney steps onto the field.
“When I first came into the England set-up, Wayne was captain and welcomed me and made me feel at home,” Delph said, via The Guardian. “As soon as he comes on tomorrow, I will be giving him that armband back. We will give him a guard of honor. It will be a huge night for Wayne and we want to make it special for him.”
Thanks to the current squad’s insistence, Rooney will wear the No. 10 shirt that he donned for so many years.
“Fabian is captain tomorrow night, and the players are keen that Wayne wears the No. 10 and we believe that is a fitting tribute,” manager Gareth Southgate said.
Rooney retired from international duty in 2017 as England’s all-time leading scorer (53) and most capped outfield player (119) but will return against the USMNT for one final appearance. He already put to bed rumors that this could spark a return to the Premier League, be it on loan or a permanent move from D.C. United.
“It’s important for all of us as a group that he gets a good send-off,” Southgate added.