London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – England manager Rod Hodgson has named veteran international campaigner Wayne Rooney as the new team captain.
The 28-year-old Rooney will officially take up the role for the first time in next month’s friendly against Norway at Wembley.
Hodgson confirmed the appointment of Rooney after the retirement of Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard from international football.
“I gave it a lot of thought, but I think Wayne is an obvious choice. He certainly deserves it,” Hodgson said.
“His commitment to the cause, his experience, the fact that he has captained England in the past and now of course he has the responsibility at Man United, all those factors weighed in my thought process,” he added.
Rooney, for his part, said he was honored to be handed the armband.
“To be named as the England captain is a dream come true for me personally and of course for my family. It is something I will take massive pride in doing,” Rooney said.
The United striker has captained England on two previous occasions during a senior international career that started in 2003. The appointment came after Rooney was picked as Manchester United skipper.
Rooney has scored 40 times in 95 games for the Three Lions, leaving him nine goals and 30 caps shy of England’s respective national team records — held by Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton.