Wayne Rooney does not take England place for granted

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England captain Wayne Rooney has stressed he is not taking his place in the team for granted.

Whether Rooney, currently sidelined by a knee injury, should be selected in the first XI when fit has been a topic of considerable debate of late.

And that only intensified after the Three Lions defeated world champions Germany 3-2 in Berlin on Saturday in his absence, a friendly which saw his fellow strikers Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy both get on the scoresheet with fine efforts.

Rooney is making no assumptions about being in boss Roy Hodgson's starting line-up for this summer's Euro 2016 finals - but he insists he finds the current level of competition for places "exciting".

Asked on Tuesday about the matter just ahead of kick-off in England's friendly against Holland at Wembley, the 30-year-old told ITV: "As I've said throughout my career with Manchester United and England, I never take my place for granted.

"Obviously you want to play, and it is great that that competition is now there.

"With the quality we have got, it is exciting to be a part of.

"I can't wait to get back fit and back out there with the lads. Certainly it is something I enjoy doing and I want to keep doing. I want to keep going and get ready.

"First of all I want England to be successful and win trophies, and obviously it is great if I can be a part of that.

"I believe it is an opportunity for us to do really well in the summer and obviously the decision is down to Roy Hodgson, but I want to be there, involved and trying to help and hopefully leading the team to being successful."

Rooney, who is England's all-time top-scorer with 51 goals and has netted three times for them and 14 times for United this term, added: "I don't think of it in terms of needing to fight for my place. I think it is exciting.

"I think in previous tournaments, if everyone is fit, more or less the team is set. But now, no-one knows what is going to happen.

"The manager can play three or four teams with different combinations if he wants, because I really believe we have got that quality.

"So I think for the country it is going to be an exciting tournament, and it is something I'm looking forward to and hopefully I'll be contributing goals to the team.

"Captaining my country in a major tournament would be a huge honour, and I'm looking forward to it.

"I'm excited and really believe we genuinely have got a chance of doing well in this tournament, so hopefully I can be the one to lead us and be successful."

Rooney also revealed one of his sons had requested an England shirt with the name 'Vardy' on it.

And he added of the frontman who has shone so brightly for Premier League leaders Leicester this term and on Saturday broke his duck for his country with an outrageous flick: "I think the impact he has had this season in the Premier League and obviously now for England is great for English football and hopefully he can continue that and score more goals."

Rooney, sidelined since sustaining a knee injury in mid-February, also said he is "not too far away" from a return to action.

He said: "If everything goes according to plan, I'm back outside running now and I'm hoping to be full training within the next week or 10 days, so not too far away."


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