Gareth Southgate Sternly Defends Wayne Rooney's England Inclusion

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Despite having not played for the England in nearly two years, Wayne Rooney will come out of global retirement to play in a friendly at Wembley against the United States later this month, for what will be his final appearance and will raise money for his new charity.

None of the gate receipts taken from Wayne Rooney's final performance for the England national team will be made available for his foundation, a report in The Times has revealed.

Rooney's England return - farce or fitting tribute? Sources close to Rooney have claimed that... "Wayne was one of our greatest ever England players".

If Kane is on the pitch against the U.S. at Wembley when Rooney makes his entrance, he is likely to hand the armband over to the former Manchester United and Everton striker.

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England play the United States on November 15 before hosting Croatia in the Nations League the following Sunday, with both games live on Sky Sports.

The FA's controversial decision has prompted accusations that Rooney's farewell call-up is a mere ruse to sell more tickets for the match, while others have suggested that the 33-year-old's involvement could derail the momentum of Southgate's squad ahead of a crucial UEFA Nations League game against Croatia.

"I don't think [he thought he was going to start the game] but I've not spoken with him".

"I understand the debate around that. I'm completely comfortable with the situation". Now we have the opportunity with a game at Wembley to pay that tribute.

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"The last game he played, when he came on, Jordan Henderson ran over and gave him the armband as soon as he ran on the pitch", he said.

"In football, and in sport in general, people are not recognised or recognised too late". I am still able to look to the future in terms of the squad I've picked and the things I want to see but also I've talked a lot to the players about the importance of the shirt, the history and honouring former players. We've tried to involve former players as much as possible.

"We are a odd country in that we bemoan the fact we haven't achieved as much as we'd like and then we have a player who should be held in the highest regard and we are spending a lot of time justifying giving him that tribute".

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