Rio Ferdinand has offered his congratulations to Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney after his former international and club colleague was also awarded the England armband.
It was announced on Thursday afternoon that Roy Hodgson had taken the decision to appoint Rooney as the successor to Steven Gerrard, who retired after the World Cup, with England set to resume duties next week.
Rooney was the overwhelming favourite to be Hodgson’s choice following Gerrard’s announcement, while Ferdinand, himself a former England skipper, believes the manager made the correct choice.
Ferdinand posted on his official Facebook page: “Big congratulations to my former Man Utd and England team mate Wayne Rooney for being named captain of his country! Great honour and thoroughly deserved!"
Rooney’s appointment came as Hodgson named his squad for the friendly encounter with Norway at Wembley next Wednesday and this game will represent the start of something of a new era for the England team.
Gone, of course, is Gerrard after he removed himself from international duty after 14 years representing England, while Frank Lampard also took the decision to retire having made 106 appearances for his country.
Gerrard and Lampard accounted for a total of 220 appearances and 50 goals between them and, in Jack Colback and Fabian Delph, have been replaced in this squad at least by two players to have never represented England at senior level.
Rooney is now the most experienced England player by a significant distance having earned 95 caps in over a decade representing his country, while Bobby Charlton’s record goal haul is within striking distance.
The 28-year-old has 40 goals to the 49 scored by Charlton, himself an Old Trafford icon, and it would appear to be only a matter of time until Rooney surpasses the World Cup winner for both England and Manchester United.
Charlton found the net 249 times in 758 games as a Manchester United player, and Rooney is 32 goals behind this benchmark having made 315 less appearances for the club.
It is, then, well within Rooney’s reach to break new ground for club and country by the end of this season although, as he will maintain, the collective aims far outweigh his ambition to achieve personal glory.
In a statement released through his official website following him being named England captain, Rooney claimed he would not consider his international career a success unless he won a trophy.
“I have said previously that I will not look on my England career as a success unless we win something and that is my attitude to playing football,” he said.
“There is no point turning up unless we believe we can win.”
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