Rooney played with some modern England greats .

Wayne Rooney names the best player he played with for England

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On Thursday night, Wayne Rooney will return to a very different England side to the one he left.

Gareth Southgate's XI to face Croatia is full of promising youngsters such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jadon Sancho, while the uncapped Callum Wilson and Lewis Dunk are also being given their chance.

The Three Lions proved at the 2018 World Cup that it is not always the biggest names who deliver when it matters.

This is an entirely new era now and Southgate prides himself on bringing togetherness and team spirit as opposed to building a team of big stars.

Of course, England fans know that only too well that great players do not necessarily gel together given the disappointments of the so-called 'Golden Generation'.

Rooney's last major tournament was Euro 2016, but before that, the national side also came up short at the three World Cups he participated in.

That was despite boasting the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole, and Rio Ferdinand.

All very good players for their clubs, but something never quite clicked as soon as they slipped into the red and white of England.

Rooney himself has often been described as the greatest modern English player, one whose achievements many fans will only truly appreciate once he's retired.

Rooney names his best England team-mate 

However, ahead of earning his 120th cap at Wembley, he was asked by former team-mate Gary Neville who the best footballer was that he played alongside for England.

"I'd have to say Gerrard," he said on Sky Sports.

"At times, he got us through games.

"At the period where, obviously, we lost a lot of players. Yourself, Rio, Becks, it was me, Stevie, and Frank left.

"Stevie pulled us through our games then."

Gerrard is considered by Rooney as the Golden Generation's best

There were indeed countless occasions over the years when the former Liverpool captain got England over the line.

It's strange to think that while Gerrard is now managing Rangers, Lampard at Derby, and Terry coaching at Aston Villa, that Rooney is yet to hang up his boots and continues to impress at DC United.

There is just time for one last hurrah as far as his international career is concerned. 

Do you agree with Rooney? Have your say in the comments. 

Steven Gerrard
Gareth Southgate
England Football
Wayne Rooney
John Terry

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