With captain and vice-captain, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, both out injured, Fabio Capello trusted Rooney with the responsibility.
“I remember the best players in the world – Pele, Cruyff, Beckenbauer, Platini – were captains, no? They scored goals. So why not Rooney? I don’t understand why he cannot also be captain. You have to be a leader on the pitch and all the best players were captains. Maradona is another example.”
“It was a great moment for me to lead the side out, something I was really proud of,” said Rooney. “When you are a young kid, you dream of captaining England but never think it will happen. Tonight it has happened and I’m proud, and my family will feel the same, but I don’t think it was the best game we have played. We can do a lot better. The first half was quite even, but in the second half they were the better side and deserved the victory. We looked tired at the end. We did okay, but we can do better.”