Wayne Rooney will join an exclusive club on Saturday afternoon as the Manchester United striker makes his 100th international appearance, becoming only the ninth player to reach the the landmark for England.
Rooney will mark this achievement when he leads out his country against Slovenia at Wembley in a Euro 2016 qualifier - the fifth time he has worn the captain’s armband since being appointed Steven Gerrard’s permanent successor.
His career with England started as a teenager almost 12 years ago in a friendly defeat to Australia at Upton Park, and Rooney has reflected on his first steps as an intentional player as his milestone appearance edges ever closer.
Rooney posted on his official Facebook page: “With my 100th England cap coming up I'm going to share some of my favourite England games this week. I'm going to start with my debut!
“When I was little I dreamt about playing for England, it was always a big occasion when they were playing and I used to love watching them on TV.
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“To put that shirt on for the first time and walk out as an England player was one of the proudest moments of my career, to play for your country is a massive honour.
“I wasn’t happy that we lost the game against Australia but the feeling of walking out with the team was unbelievable and a dream come true!"
Rooney was aged only 17 when he made his bow for England on February 12 2003, a record that has since been broken by Theo Walcott, and he was able to make an immediate impression, albeit not a goalscoring one, on the international stage.
His maiden England goal came before he his 18th birthday, against Macedonia in a Euro 2004 qualifier, and it was in that tournament the following summer where Rooney was really able to prove his worth.
Rooney’s performances in Portugal earned a transfer to Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson paying over £25 million to bring him to Old Trafford and, a decade on since this moment, was appointed club captain.
This was soon followed by his ascension to England skipper and, following his 100th cap, Rooney will have his sights set upon breaking his country’s goalscoring record, and it will take only seven more to surpass Bobby Charlton’s tally of 39.
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