News Live Scores

Wayne Rooney set for shock England return for U.S. friendly at Wembley

1:10 am AEDT 5/11/18
Wayne Rooney England
The former Three Lions captain has not played for his country since 2016 but will make a final bow in a charity friendly later this month

Former England captain Wayne Rooney will make an unexpected, one-off return to the Three Lions side to face the U.S. in November at Wembley.

The 33-year-old forward has not played for his country since November 2016, having announced his international retirement the following August with immediate effect.

Following reports from various UK media outlets, the English FA confirmed that the D.C. United striker will feature one more time for the national side. He'll win his 120th cap when Gareth Southgate’s side face the United States men's national team in a charity friendly on Thursday November 15.

"I am truly humbled and hugely excited to play for England at Wembley again," Rooney said in a statement to the FA. "I would like to thank Gareth Southgate and The FA for inviting me back and helping to support my Foundation in the process.

"Playing for England was the greatest honour of my career – so winning my 120th, and final, cap will be a particularly special moment for me. It’s fitting that the match will be against the USA and I hope that both sets of fans enjoy the game."

Southgate said: “This tribute to Wayne is a unique opportunity that is befitting of our nation’s record goal-scorer.

"We’re fortunate that circumstances have allowed us to formally acknowledge Wayne’s immense contribution to England in front of the Wembley crowd and against apt opponents given the recent impact he has made in MLS."

The match will look to raise funds for the Wayne Rooney Foundation and other charities, such as children's charity NSPCC.

Rooney remains England’s most-capped outfield player and second overall behind goalkeeper Peter Shilton, with 119 appearances for the national side and 53 goals, breaking the record set by Bobby Charlton.

He made his international debut in 2003 against Australia and scored his first goal in a 2-1 victory over Macedonia later that year in a Euro 2004 qualification game.

Rooney represented England in six major tournaments between 2004 and 2016, and was a member of the squad that made it to the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

He scored his last goal for his country against Iceland in the Three Lions’ 2-1 defeat at Euro 2016 that saw them eliminated in the round-of-16 and won his final cap later that year in November, in a 3-0 victory over Scotland.

Rooney won the majority of his international caps while playing for Manchester United and was dropped by Southgate during his final year at Old Trafford, in early 2017.

But despite a return to form following a move back to boyhood club Everton that saw the manager offer to recall him, he officially retired from the national team a month into the 2017-18 Premier League season.

FA chiefs had reportedly held extensive talks with him however about a one-off return following his sizzling form in MLS, where he fired D.C. United from the bottom of the table into the play-offs in the Eastern Conference.

The game will serve as a final chance for Southgate to fine-tune ahead of England’s Nations League crunch match with Croatia on Sunday November 18.