Fabio Capello has backed his former striker to make an impact again this summer.

Fabio Capello says Wayne Rooney must start for England at Euro 2016

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Fabio Capello has been reluctant to have his say over the England team since acrimoniously leaving his post as manager in 2012.

The Italian, who was most recently in charge of Russia, has largely left replacement Roy Hodgson to it, but now he has offered his opinion on who should be selected for the Euros - and it's one that will divide fans.

Rooney must start

Capello insists that Wayne Rooney must start for the Three Lions in France this summer despite another mediocre season for Manchester United.


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The England stalwart and all-time record goalscorer is facing a battle to start because of the form of Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, and Daniel Sturridge, while Arsenal duo Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott are also in contention.

The answer, Capello says, could be to play him slightly behind the strikers.

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“It is important to have him on the pitch because he understands the game well and he sets an example for the other players.

"He is changing, he will play not like a first forward, he will be like a second forward, and his movement between the line of the defenders is important. He knows that movement really well", he said.

Rooney over Carroll 

Rooney should at least be able to count on being picked ahead of Andy Carroll after Hodgson played down the West Ham striker's chances.

"I'm certainly not going to pick him on the basis that he scored a hat-trick so therefore has to be in the England team."


There is no question that Hodgson has an abundance of top-quality forwards to choose from, but it remains to be seen whether he will take heed of Capello's suggestion.

Tougher competition this time 

He has admitted that many of the players who were automatic starters at the 2014 World Cup, such as Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, could now miss out altogether.

Rooney has just five games to force his way into the forefront of the England manager's mind, while he also has an FA Cup semi-final - and potentially, the final - to shine.

Even so, it is quite possibly too late to outdo the work of Vardy and Kane, both of whom have scored goals that have put their respective sides in the top two.

If that isn't enough for them to start this summer, then England fans could be left furious if Rooney's reputation takes precedence over the form book.

Should Wayne Rooney start for England at the Euros? Let us know in the comments!

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
England Football
World Cup

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