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Wednesday 19 December 2018

'Rooney deserves big night'

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney will wear the number 10 shirt on his England swansong - with manager Gareth Southgate certain the country's record goalscorer will receive the respect he deserves.

Tomorrow's friendly against the United States will see Rooney's Three Lions career celebrated, with the 33-year-old also set to be given a guard of honour and wear the captain's armband on what is sure to be an emotional night at Wembley.

Now at DC United, Rooney will make a late substitute appearance in a match named in honour his foundation, with the Football Association's decision to toast the former captain's achievements splitting opinion.

While Southgate had confirmed Rooney would not start the game, none of the other special touches had been revealed until he spoke on the eve of the fixture, having first consulted with the rest of his squad.

"We have spoken with the players," Southgate said. "I didn't want to make those decisions last week - the players are very keen that Wayne wears the number 10.

"We believe that is a fitting tribute - I think that we have spoken a lot as a group about doing things our own way over the last two years, we did that right through the summer.

"All of our group have huge respect for Wayne and they feel that it is fitting his last game should be his number 10 and when he puts that shirt on his wall somewhere at the end of his career, it is going to be a special night and the 10 is the number he has there."

Southgate also announced that Fabian Delph will be handing the captaincy to Rooney when he is introduced.

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