Wayne Rooney: England forward says farewell game is a 'huge honour'

Wayne Rooney

Not long after arriving back in England from Washington, the former Manchester United captain met up with his global team-mates at the Football Association base, some of whom were only children when Rooney made his worldwide debut in 2003.

"I haven't been in the squad since the Scotland game, partly through not playing for Manchester United and the second part through making the decision to retire from worldwide football", Rooney said.

The former Manchester United striker will win his last global cap in a friendly against United States at Wembley on Thursday.

Dave Sarachan during a training session at Wembley ahead of the United States' meeting with England (Tim Goode/PA).

Rooney himself burst onto the worldwide scene as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, but admitted he didn't always enjoy his England career as he should have after that tournament given the burden of expectation to perform he shouldered.

"Obviously I knew him when I was at United, and then at Everton as well". My feeling on that is maybe a little different.

"I think everyone is entitled to their opinions", Rooney said.

"You've just got to learn to deal with it and try to not let it affect you and that's something I can take from it".

"They've got superstars", he said of the current crop.

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"He is fit, I'm sure he will not be out of place, he is in good form".

He said: "Things happen that are good and bad in football, you have to accept that".

The pair also worked together at LA Galaxy during a time when first David Beckham and, more recently, Ashley Cole played for the Major League Soccer club.

Rooney is coming off a sensational first season in MLS, leading D.C. United, last in the Eastern Conference when he arrived, into the playoffs.

Now 33, Rooney concedes that the pressure to succeed for England meant playing for his country was not always enjoyable - something he does not expect to be the case this week.

"He was not there as a stunt or on vacation, he was there to play so from that standpoint I have been very impressed". So I've been lucky enough to play quite a lot with him, and see what a great player and great person he is.

Newcastle's DeAndre Yedlin training with the United States squad at Wembley (Tim Goode/PA).

Everton's Michael Keane has played his way back into Gareth Southgate's England squad after missing out for over a year.

"My message to Gareth was "you get what you want out of the game, from the players, and when you feel it's right to bring me on, that's fine for me", he said, entirely reasonably. "We both came to an understanding and we both felt the best thing was to take part".

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