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Wayne Rooney

Rooney recall causing 'circus' but his isn't the first undeserved cap - Redknapp

19:59 EAT 06/11/2018
Wayne Rooney England
The former Manchester United striker is to take in a 120th outing for his country against the United States despite being in international retirement

England’s decision to recall Wayne Rooney for a friendly clash with the United States has sparked a “circus”, says Harry Redknapp, but he is not the first player to be handed an undeserved cap.

The former Manchester United and Everton forward, who is now on the books of MLS side D.C. United, will take in a 120th appearance for his country on November 15 at Wembley Stadium.

Rooney is the Three Lions’ all-time leading goalscorer and a man assured of his place in English football folklore, but he has been in international retirement for over 12 months.

He is being drafted back into the fold for a fixture which will help to generate funds for his charitable foundation, but Redknapp has questioned the need for him to figure on the field in that game.

A man who was heavily linked with the England managerial post at various stages throughout his coaching career told the Daily Star: “I like Wayne, I get on well with him and his record speaks for itself. He was a fantastic player for England and it’s fine by me if we want to celebrate his achievements.

“But I can understand why some people might think it makes the game a bit of a circus – and England have got an important game three days later (against Croatia in the Nations League).

“Having said that, we’ve given caps to people who haven’t earned them in the past – I’m not going to name names – and you do wonder how on earth they got them.

“But I can’t get too angry and upset if England want to give Rooney a send-off because we’ve treated our greatest players so badly in the past. I suppose they are trying to make up for past mistakes.”

Former captain Rooney last figured for England in a 3-0 victory win over Scotland in November 2016.

He was considered for a recall by Gareth Southgate in August 2017, but shunned that opportunity in favour of ruling himself out of contention for future call-ups.

The 33-year-old is now set to return for one last outing.

A meeting with USA will give Rooney the chance to add to his international goal haul of 53, while also closing to within five caps of Peter Shilton at the top of England’s appearance chart.