Rooney adamant he still has ‘motivation’ for England

Date published: Saturday 3rd September 2016 8:38

Wayne Rooney: Set for landmark game

England captain Wayne Rooney has stated he still has the desire to play for the Three Lions as he closes in on his latest landmark game.

Rooney is expected to start in the number 10 role on Sunday, with Allardyce naming Harry Kane as his main striker and Dele Alli only among the substitutes.

Having scored an early penalty in England’s galling Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland, which cost Roy Hodgson his job, Rooney has spoken at length about the pain suffered by the players that night in Nice.

But he is still raring to go at the start of his seventh tournament campaign as an England international.

“I have said many times that I am a proud person to play for England,” he said. “I have been since the moment I got in the team, my motivation is the same as that day.

“I want to do well for England, it is the start of a qualifying campaign and important we get off to a good start.”

Wayne Rooney will become England’s most-capped outfield player when he leads the Three Lions out in Slovakia – but the achievement could not be further from his mind.

The England skipper will collect his 116th cap to move clear of David Beckham and behind only goalkeeper Peter Shilton in the all-time list.

Rooney, who has declared his intention to retire from international football after the World Cup in Russia, was announced in new manager Sam Allardyce’s starting XI for the qualifier in Trnava but he insists it will be business as usual when he crosses the white line.

Asked about breaking Beckham’s outfield record, the Manchester United man said: “I think it is always important and an honour to represent your country.

“To do it the second-most times will be great but tomorrow is about the team, about getting three points.

“I’m sure one day in the future I will look back but for now I’m looking to the game tomorrow and nothing else, that’s it.”

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